By the time most people achieve management level, they have often become quite conservative when it comes to change. Managers can sometimes feel they have little left to learn; and because they have more to lose, they’re often extremely resistant to trying something that hasn’t been done before. When your trade show strategy is in need of overhaul, this can work against the creative members of your team by stifling not only their ideas, but their willingness to share them. If you feel like your exhibition skills need an overhaul, the following steps may help you win your management’s approval.
EMBRACE EXISTING GOALS
Most managers start the fiscal year by being tasked with exploring new marketing goals, but day-to-day demands can end up pushing these goals back until it’s the end of the year, or the budget has already run out. A great way to traverse this hurdle is to ensure that the goals are presented in a way that embraces existing goals. What does this mean, exactly? Let’s say your supervisor has been tasked with expanding sales into new markets. Well, that might be a great time to push a plan for an expo in the new market you’ve been eyeing. When your goals dovetail with those of your supervisor, you’ll have a better chance of getting them approved. Has your boss mentioned being open to capitalizing on the popularity of mobile device charging stations? Now would be the time to bring up your idea of renting a lock-and-charge station that turns your booth into a secure place for attendees to leave their devices. Listen to your boss to learn what marketing methods they’re most likely to wish they had time to exploit. If you can align your ideas in that direction, and even use an example from an organization your boss already respects, you greatly increase your chances of having your ideas put into action.
KNOW ALL THE ANSWERS BEFORE THE QUESTIONS ARE ASKED!
No matter how great your idea is, if it doesn’t fit within the budget, you won’t be getting it approved. Before backing a project, do your homework. Find out if the advertising funds are available to you, and then come up with a plan to accurately measure any results. Determine whether funds are available, and then come up with a plan for accurately measuring ROI. If you do face budget constraints (and who doesn’t?) one way to give yourself more leeway with your budget is to work in conjunction with another department in the company who may also have some use for any assets you need to purchase or create for the event. Videos, marketing collateral, kiosks, and more can often be used by more than one department; saving time and money for both departments.
When you take all of these ideas together, and present them to your management in a cohesive strategy document that outlines how it will improve the effectiveness of your trade show exhibits, you’ll be in a much better position to persuade management to take a chance on your ideas!