arnoldvoteThey’re actually quite similar if you think about it.

They both have excellent campaign teams (sales and marketing?) that expel the virtues of why they’re the best, and churn out message upon message to the punter (visitor) and the stakeholder (exhibitor?).

How do the public decide which one to vote for?

How many leaflets / emails / tweets / phone calls / radio shows / press conferences / funny idiotic personality interviews do you see every election? Lots right? How often do you see them in the years between elections? Not so much right?

Some people soak in all the information that is poured down their poor eyes and ears.

For some, the constant bombardment of gibberish is too much and frankly, quite irritating. If someone is undecided… how do they decide when no one can spell out exactly what the other is doing or saying? Or are they all just the same?

Some voters have the candidate (or party) that they already support and are an advocate as they share the same beliefs and policies. The clever candidates are latching on to them and engaging with them to help spread their voice on a very local level. What you do see, from the good politicians, is that they engage with their local community to win them over and I’ve seen this first hand with a good friend of mine who was elected today!

What I have also seen is what appears to be an adult version of a childhood playground slagging match. You did this. You didn’t do that. You promised this. You never delivered that.

We all get bamboozled by under delivered promises and if you’re on the fence, who do you vote for. Do you vote?

Intrinsic I know (it is election day), but here’s the link to the exhibition world…

Imagine all of the mixed messages an exhibitor (or visitor) is getting. Why are they going to prioritise spending time or money with you over say radio or print spend if they have a limited budget? Or in fact they’re hosting their own “local” events?

4983301433_04634ac03b_bRather than telling you what you should be doing (you do this for a living), I’ll post a number of questions to think about:

  •  Can you back up your promises?
  • Can you prove what you’ve delivered?
  • Can you realistically manage the expectations of hundreds of exhibitors or thousands of visitors?
  • Have you got advocates that talk about your event with only the slightest of nudges?
  • Do you have fence sitters that you never really understand who they are (they tick the first box on all your demogs)?
  • Do you do panel debates or similar research (more than just a survey) with your stakeholders (exhibitors / visitors / media for example) finding out what they want to hear or see?
  • When was the last time you called one of your visitors?
  • Do you bombard or bamboozle? Or do you keep it simple?
  • And after the event, do you send your stakeholders anything other than a thank you for voting(ahem, attending)?

Lots of questions (and there are a million more!) to consider. If you’re a politician, you’ll be great at avoiding them. If you’re experienced in our industry, you hopefully will be able to answer these questions with ease.

If not… maybe start with your data. See what you already know, call a few delegates and take it from there. Most importantly… listen! Listen to what people have to say. Then do something about it.