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How To Scream “THANK YOU” (and why you should.)

If you’ve exhibited at enough trade shows, it’s safe to assume you’ve got your own, “Ahh, the show is over” ritual.

  • You add one more Exhibitor Badge to the ever-growing collection on your bathroom doorknob.

  • You peel off your incredibly flattering branded polo-shirt. (And burn it.)

  • You mix a strong drink

  • You find a hot bath

  • You schedule a foot massage, pedicure, chiropractic adjustment, trip to an Ashram …

Whatever your post-show tradition may entail, I would like to humbly suggest that you add one thing to your list.

Scream, “THANK YOU.”

Let me explain: At a recent high tech trade show, I asked my client what her goals were for the three and a half days looming ahead of us. She handed me a long list of ‘deliverables.’ Among them was a rather ambitious lead count. I looked at the number, looked at her, looked back at the number and said, “OK. You got it.” Several hours later, I was in the storage closet having a little confab with my team of four assistants. These were my crowd-gatherers, booth hostesses, booth ambassadors, my front line …

… whatever you want to call them ….

… oh, and they were not my ‘booth babes.’ (I know, that’s a subject for another blog.)

I explained to my team that we had a pretty challenging goal and I wanted them to do their best to make the numbers. They smiled at each other and looked at me in a way that said,

“Uh huh … you just WATCH.”

Three days later, they had blown away our goal by over a thousand leads, had kept the presentation area filled with attendees, AND had moved a huge number of these people into the waiting arms of some very happy sales reps.

When I got back to my office (and before I engaged in any of my own rituals), I posted a picture showing a rather impressive crowd at our booth on several of my Social Media sites. There, I publicly thanked the four women who helped me score this big win for my client. This ‘THANK YOU’ cost me nothing except a few minutes of my time, but I know it meant something to my team. Why? Because it was shouted. It was a declaration to anyone within earshot, that they did an amazing job. (And from the number of ‘likes’ and comments I saw, it definitely found some ears.)

Why don’t we do this all the time? Why don’t we tell our staff people, our co-workers, our FRIENDS, the people who busted their butts for us; that we appreciate their efforts? That we’re grateful.

Why don’t we scream, “THANK YOU” after the show is over?

Do we think, “Oh, my people were just doing their job.”? Do we think, “Oh, they already know they’re appreciated.”? Or do we just not think it’s worth it.

How about trying this? After your next show, single out some of the people on your team who really went the extra mile, who really tore it up for you. Do a shout out on Twitter, Facebook, on your company network, wherever you want. But make sure a lot of people see it.

And then see how those people perform for you next time. See what happens when you hand them an impossible goal and they smile at you and say, “Uh huh. You just WATCH.”

(By the way, here’s a shout out to my four miracle-workers: Manya Landers, Jennifer Speelman, Marie Jacobs, and Kecia Cooper King. I couldn’t have done it without you.)

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