Getting the right people together is priceless.

We all used to think, “The bigger the show; the better the experience.”

Early in my career, I was a team leader on the team that built the largest outdoor stage on the National Mall for the Fourth of July celebration in Washington, DC. Went live at 7:00 AM and closed with fireworks at 11:00 PM. The event was broadcast live to the three major networks, recorded for several cable channels, included over a thousand VIPs and showcased major headliners like the Beach Boys and the Judds. It was phenomenal…except for one thing: The final budget.


The costs overruns, legal fees, lawsuits easily tripled the original budget. We were all experienced producers, design engineers, sound engineers, lighting designers, talent wranglers, electricians, prop masters, fireworks experts and trucking professionals. We all came from strong production backgrounds. Most of us were used to working on seven-figure events, designed to blow audiences away. And, that was our goal. Back then, we were of the mindset that transformative experiences were the ones that cost the most. Now, we know better. The real transformative show is the one in which priceless connections are made.


A transformative show translates into revenue.


After decades of being in the trade show business, we’ve learned that it’s far more important to provide people with substantive experiences rather than flashy experiences. Your booth can look like the Vegas Strip, but what does that really get you? Revenue? Probably not.


What’s more important is making the right connections with the right people. A face-to-face meeting with a solid lead is far more important than dazzling the masses. Trust me, my colleagues and I will be more than happy to help you spend your budget on over-the-top approaches. But, it’s likely you won’t be happy…or happy with us.


Conversely, spending money on a well thought-out approach to your show, anchored in the concept of making substantive connections, is money well…and better….spent.


So, as you think about your next show, think about focusing your costs on creating connections. You, and your boss, will thank us later.