As planners our job and our intuition tells us that we need to fix the problem. The world has thrown us many problems in a matter of weeks and we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to solve all the problems.
Our first instinct has been to reach out to our clients. How can we help them? What can we do to make sure their events are still successful? How can we help them manage damage control?
What I don’t know that many of us have done is stopped for a minute and asked what the exhibitors and sponsors need? I see many people, myself included, researching and trying to find solutions for exhibitors and sponsors; looking for on-line tools that will help them to showcase their products and services at our clients’ virtual events. But has anyone taken a moment and asked them what they need and want? What would actually be of best use to them?
A conversation on LinkedIn this morning sparked this thought. An exhibitor builder wrote a comment about a blog post I posted and asked me my thoughts on a few things, including what on-line tools we’ve found that are providing exhibitors the opportunity to showcase. What got me thinking is that he said, “I have yet to see a quality virtual show or virtual exhibit.”
“What is going to help you achieve your goals?”
Planners and clients are making big decisions that will impact the success of the exhibitors and the sponsors. And likely without necessarily having taken the time to ask them if the solutions we are offering are what is going to best for them and their investment in the event.
I see this scenario no different then when we are working with sponsors. We are not to make assumptions that we know what they need and want from our event in order for their sponsorship to be a success. The responsible thing to do is ask. This situation is the exact same. Obviously we can’t be choosing different showcasing systems for different exhibitors but what if they don’t even want to showcase virtually? What if they have a better idea to showcase their products and services to the attendees?
Has anyone asked them what they need from us right now?