I love exhibitions.
I love the challenges they bring.
I love the successes we share.
I love the people they embrace.
I love the anticipation from standing there on opening morning, through months and thousands of hours of hard work from everyone involved, to see people turning up. To see people walking in, with their own little face of excitement about what they're going to see today.
Which leads me on to my point for Global Exhibitions Day (GED) 2018. People.
GED is a day chosen to celebrate our industry and tell people on a global scale how great we are. How diverse we are. How exciting we can be! It's also a day for people to shine. To share stories and tell people "why they should choose us."
So the people. That's really what it comes down to, right? Without people, you literally have nothing.
From the very first idea or concept of a show, it originated from a person. As best we try, you'll never replace original ideas with anything else.
The planner, consultant or strategic minds that made the idea a reality. They are people.
The financiers that helped back the idea on sometimes the loosest pieces of paper, yea, sometimes we might call them something else, but they are people.
The venue team that won the contract and gave the event a home. People.
The operational team coordinating, well everything that everyone else sold or promised, yep, they're people.
The sales team selling what they can to make a profit. Some may disagree with me, but yep, they're people.
The marketing teams, the ones that tidy up the promises made to the visitors or exhibitors, and who are an integral part of helping attract the right audiences. People? Yes, definitely people.
The suppliers. The client managers. The support teams. The designers. The booth builders. The carpet fitters. The unsung heroes of our industry. Without these people, the vision from the top down would struggle to become a reality.
The welcome staff. Often the first smiley face someone sees as they enter an event. Yep, believe it or not, but they're people too.
I could go on...
In a digital world, where many a process can be streamlined using technology or where marketing can spend more wisely than they used to, because they know the return they'll get from certain types of activity, what we can't do, is we can't replace the people.
We can't lose the creativity that people bring to the table and the passion they have for getting the job done. To this day, I've still never high fived an iPad.
It would be a bit weird sitting around the bar after Day One of show open has been and gone, having a drink with six laptop screens staring at you and only really you talking into a microphone about how good or bad the day went. Am I right?
It is this coming together of people, this collaboration of minds that results in “one team” creating something fantastic – an experience. It is the experience that we are all proud to show off, which in effect makes us all exhibitionists… right?
So, this Global Exhibitions Day, let us celebrate the diverse nature of our industry. Let us celebrate that which inspires us – the people. The team. The satisfaction of getting things done together.
Wherever you want to go. Whatever you want to be, our amazing industry has a job with your name written all over it.
Get on it.
About the Author
Matt has been working in events & exhibitions for over 10 years. From organising, to design, to website, and onto registration and intelligent data services, Matt has extensive experience at every level. With a background in organisation, marketing and design Matt is able to cut through the technology and approach data and registration solutions with the end users in mind. As Technology Engagement Architect for GES and an active participant in the industry, Matt has been involved in a variety of industrywide research projects and is an expert in how to prove ROI and manage data effectively.Follow on Twitter More Content by Matt Coyne