Organize the Tactical During Trade Show Season

Organize-PlanAs professionals in the exhibition industry, we all know that a successful trade show program involves both tactical and strategic skill sets.

To be effective on the strategic side of the equation, you have to first get the tactical side of the job under control. Keeping the different aspects of the show in order, having answers at your fingertips, and being able to keep the team updated on what needs to be done to stay on top of the details, will help you stand out and be seen as the exhibit professional that you are.

Tip #1: Get all that paperwork under control

How many of you have an office that looks like an explosion just went off  – with piles of papers, files, and show books on your desk and floor? Your first thought may be, “It’s ok, I know just where everything is” However, if your office is a mess, you project an image of chaos, and people (co-workers as well as managers) may have an opinion of you that isn’t as favorable as you’d like. Keeping your files and papers in order will help you manage your time and be more efficient, which in turn will help you be more effective and display confidence and professionalism.

Take a look at some of the tips below to help you get started. And, incorporate a few new tactics of your own! You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes in how you get your work done and in how other people perceive you.

  • Keep your office as orderly as possible. Find a filing system that works for you.
  • Try as hard as you can to just have one thing out on your desk at one time. I know it seems impossible, but you’ll be surprised how much more you can get done with one project if all dozen others aren’t looming within sight.

Tip #2: Develop a timeline to help you and your team stay on top of things

Without an organizational timeline, you become reactive rather than proactive which can make for chaotic days, bad decisions and sloppy execution.

  • Meet with your marketing and sales team as early as possible and be sure you get information on all of the aspects that they would like to incorporate into the show (i.e. ads, speaking ops, new graphics, mailings, etc.)
  • Set up a chart that outlines the necessary steps for completing each of the tasks including budgets and timelines for each task.
  • Check your chart at the beginning of each week so that you can do what needs to be done such as set up meetings, send out reminders, get paperwork in and call vendors.

Remember, people are truly in awe of someone with organizational skills but they don’t admire being nitpicked or nagged. If they perceive you to be unfocused, annoying and dictatorial, they aren’t going to respond. Create an organizational program that works for you that let’s your co-workers and managers see you as professional and in control of yourself and your job.

What are some of the ways that you’ve found work to help you stay organized amidst the chaos that is trade show season?

Susan Brauer About Susan Brauer

Susan Brauer, CME and president at Brauer Consulting Group, has more than 20 years experience in the trade show and events industry. Her experience in setting strategic, quantifiable objectives, promoting and strengthening key corporate messages and demonstrating ROI has led her to also become a sought-out speaker at national trade show events and conferences. Susan’s areas of expertise include strategic goal-setting, event measurement programs, booth staff training and hands-on, interactive workshops.

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