For starting off a little shaky, exhibiting at the 2012 AHIP Institute was a success.
As soon as I arrived to the convention center in Salt Lake City, I was met with many issues. Supplies that we ordered didn’t show up, we had too many boxes and not enough storage, the booth space wasn’t organized, and as an effect, everyone was turning to me for what to do next.
But instead of breaking down and getting upset, I decided to step up, delegate and focus on solving the issues. Because of this attitude and the great staff I was working with, we got everything set up and solved in time for the opening reception.
Although there were many things that didn’t go as planned, one of the things that did proved to be the biggest success; a fully stocked and staffed barista bar. The free lattes and espresso were a major hit for conference attendees, who crowded in front of our booth during all the exhibit times.
Because of this, we were able to better engage attendees and many even took our literature while standing in line. The two most important but also most difficult feats; getting attendees to engage with us and having them take product information, were accomplished with no more than a little free caffeine. This success alone outweighed all the issues we experienced just hours before.
After just two days at the conference, I learned a very important lesson; things are always going to go wrong at events, but what matters is how you handle yourself and deal with the issues that come up.
It was a great experience for me to learn how to step up and take control when things go wrong. Although the conference didn’t start out perfect, it ended up being one of the most successful trade shows we’ve had in a while and I owe that to a can-do attitude and a double shot espresso.