Blogger: Stephanie Selesnick, President of International Trade Information, Inc.

Disruption for business is defined as a radical change in an industry, business strategy, etc., especially involving the introduction of a new product or service that creates a new market. We know change is coming and that exhibitions have to evolve now, or go away. For example, look what digitalization has done. Can you imagine an exhibition without a website, LinkedIn group and some kind of social media presence?

What if WE, as an industry disrupt ourselves? Liven the experience up?

A recent Event Manager Blog listed 25 ideas to “Step Up Your Trade Show Game”. It triggered a thought. We call exhibitions “Show Business”, but what are we doing to make it so? What kinds of emotion and excitement can we bring to the experience of our Trade Shows?

Here’s something all show organizers should try: gather your team around (not just the executive or leadership team) and hold a brainstorming session on what kinds of new, fun and interactive activities you can add to your exhibit floor. The ideas should focus on one question, “How can we make our exhibition a better experience for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors?” Try a couple of ideas out the next show. See how they fare. Take notes to improve and add more to the next show.

In a timely development, the upcoming UFI Global Congress Nov 1-4 in South Africa features a couple of sessions on just this subject. The first is one of the Special Interest Group (SIG) sessions on best practices featuring NEC Birmingham, the winner of the UFI Award for Operations and Services. They will share the successful creation of a

perfect customer journey through an “emotional, sense-igniting campaign”. The other is a panel discussion focused on the success UFI members have had with changing up traditional exhibition formats. #ufijoburg

Disruption does not have to be a negative. Add some unexpected, engaging and fun experiences to your shows – and you may even find a new revenue stream.