This is my survival guide for events marketing managers who will now begin working 30 hours a day, 10 days a week, 83 days a month, until mid-April. I wonder if I should preface this with an encouraging quote, or a sympathy e-card... Maybe neither, but what I can do is assure you, there's light at the end of the tunnel, that light is called "May", and you will get through this.
The important part is to always remember why you do what you do in the first place, and no matter which challenges you face- to never forget your "Why?". Here's 10 very practical tips and hacks to help take the pressure off, and help you stay focused on your "Why?" this homeshow season.
The Homeshow Gods will test you. A bunch of things are going to go wrong at the last minute, and you need to be okay with that. Kelsey will be late for her shift, and even though you sent out that text reminding your team to "spring ahead" for daylight savings time, you'll be short-handed an hour because of it. The electricity for your booth will not work, the neutral-colored carpeting you ordered will arrive in bright red, you're probably going to lose your wallet (at least once). Your display will break, your khaki's will get dirty, and Shawn from the call center's going to give you attitude because he's goin' through it, too.
Stay strong my friend, and remember a bunch of things are going wrong for your competitor, too. So take a couple deep breaths, remember everything will be okay, and follow these tips...
Tip #1: Choose radical acceptance, but keep a log of the elements that didn't go as planned for you to improve next year. Be resourceful and trouble-shoot problems quickly, but don't ever let anyone see you sweat because of it. The best managers I've met take these challenges in stride, respond to problems quickly, and understand it's the challenges they face today which will make their experience priceless tomorrow.
Tip #2: Get to the show early. You might not love it, but you'll get the best parking spot, have time to prepare for a successful day, and after you've spent a day on your feet- you wont have to walk a mile to find your car.
Tip #3: Stay at the show late. I'm not doing bad, but if I had $100 for every set I made in the last 15 minutes of a show I'd probably be writing this from my own private island.
Tip #4: Answer your phone, return your texts and check your emails. Imagine a relay race where one runner must pass the baton off to the next runner. Now multiply that by 5,000 batons. It's like that during homeshow season between the events team and the call center, passing batons back and forth among each-other. We don't ever want to drop a baton, and being responsive/a good communicator can prevent major problems from occurring, while so much activity is happening between two separate areas of marketing.
Tip #5: Start with the end in mind. It's so easy to get caught up in the details while you're working long hours. Remember what the goal of this show is. Set appointments, while offering your team and visiting patrons a fun experience.
Tip #6: Pack snacks. What you eat and drink before and during the show is actually very important. Treat your body well and your body will reward you in return. I'm not saying I'm above homeshow food, I'm just suggesting against it :)
Tip #7: They're not coming back. Being personable, approachable and friendly comes with it's perks and its drawbacks. Often by presenting positive body language and a smile, you can easily engage in conversation about your products or services. People are more open to talking with you. On the other hand, because you were so nice, they also don't want to let you down. So when people say they'll come back around to speak with you later- prepare to say goodbye to your lead. What are you going to do to prepare for this?
Tip #8: Wear comfortable shoes. If the leadership in your company allows you and your team to wear athletic shoes DO IT. It's important they match with the company uniform. Your shoes, and the rest of your uniform should sparkle and shine just as brightly as the products you display.
Tip #9: Remember to be grateful. Maybe even before you share the show's results with your team, remind them of the important role they played, ask them to share with you who their favorite person was to meet and why, and give them the opportunity to feel like the amazing person they are inside and out. I'd recommend doing this Sunday night before tear-down.
Tip #10: Provide training for your team before & during the show . It's important to make sure everyone's on the same page at all times- that your team is hooking, pitching and closing, on point. The fully-loaded investment of planning, setup, showtime and tear-down will remain constant, but when a setter brings in 10 leads instead of 5, you can easily see the ripple effect good training can have for a decreased marketing percentage, and a more profitable marketing program in 2020.
For more information about homeshow success visit coachangie.com or click the link below to learn more about Coach Angie's Homeshow Tune-Ups