Trade Shows – Risky Business?

Today’s archive is now available as a PDF (it was a really good one!)  – RiskInnovation-chat

ExpoChat Topic for Wednesday, February 27, 2013 3pm ET/Noon PT

Moderator: Traci Browne (@tracibrowne)

This week on #ExpoChat we’re going to be talking about risk. Not risk by the insurance definition but risk as it relates to innovation.

At PCMA I heard two people talking about taking risks. The first was Deborah Sexton referring to some of the risks PCMA took at Convening Leaders. Two “big” risks they took at their event were 1) badge pickup in hotels and 2) The Trade Show Reimagined.

In a panel discussion lead by Michelle Bruno “Digital Disruption’s Impact on Conventions and Trade Shows” I heard another person bring it up. Someone in the audience raised concerns about the risks of creating a hybrid event. Panelist Chris Brown, EVP, Conventions & Business Ops, National Association of Broadcasters (At least I think it was him that said it) responded to that by saying show organizers’ biggest risk is signing the convention center contract nothing comes close when compared to that. Way to put it in perspective!

That made me think of a couple things…first, are we using the term “risk” way to frequently? Are we really at the point where we call badge pickup at hotels a risky undertaking? Or is it just trying something new? Also made me think, when did we the crazy people who drop hundreds of thousands if not millions on a show venue suddenly shy away from taking a rather inexpensive risk in comparison like a mobile app or a hybrid event?

Ernst and Young put out an interesting report compiling advice from some of the most innovative company leaders and they talked about risk. Their research found three necessary tactics:

  1. Get ideas from everywhere.
  2. Learn to fail.
  3. Go to market even if you are not ready.

Join us on Twitter to talk about this and more

Q1 How do you define risk as it relates to innovation?
Q2 What is the riskiest thing you’ve done in the last year (or witnessed) at a trade show
Q3 Where can we/should we get ideas from?
Q4 What do you do when your boss does not accept failure?
Q5 How do you recognize when something is too risky? Or is nothing too risky?
Q6 What risks do you want to take in 2013?

This is not a funny video I’m including today but it’s short fantastic advice from IBM’s Ginni Rometty, CEO (Girl Power!) on a personal level as well as a business level.

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About Traci Browne

Trade Show Consultant and Freelance Writer
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