Is 45 too old for change? On moving to a “smart” building

2 weeks ago, we moved next door.  Not just any old next door you understand – to a new smart building controlled by your pass, with hot desks, lockers, quiet rooms, interactive whiteboards and a top floor with a piano, a café (food bought with your pass of course) and stupendous views over London.

Day One 11am, email from my boss:  “You look a bit stressed. Are you OK?”

The horror was written all over my face.

“Do you struggle with change?” he says. “NO!” I deny vehemently, “I embrace it… normally…. but perhaps this is where that 4 year difference in our age you are always referring to is showing…..”

I was ambivalent about a change in working environment, having never been in the least concerned about where my desk was situated in the past, but found myself on Days One and Two in 240 Blackfriars in a fog of panic.  Alright, I confess, it  did not help at all that I was one of the only TWO people who “forgot their pass” day one.  Let me tell you, without your pass, NOTHING works. I couldn’t open my locker or buy a cup of calming chamomile tea.  Monitor struggles, phone struggles….  and the box in the morning thing….

There is a modern trend for minimalist living which I think will only grow – with books downloaded, pictures on phones, films on demand – who needs the shelves full of books, pictures and DVDs any more – and this is reflected in the modern working environment with little need for paper. But it’s something I’ve struggled with – my house is always (pleasantly I like to think) cluttered and my desk at 245 was (possibly unpleasantly) untidy…. I think part of my sense of belonging comes from having my “stuff” and my friends around me.

But the thing is, as I always tell my elderly parents, who struggle with it ALL, you either embrace it or go and bury your head underground somewhere. And by the end of day two, I noticed some things….

1. I am genuinely more productive without all that stuff around me

2. Booking a room ad hoc rather than for an hour at a time, means meetings happen in 15 minutes rather than an hour

3. Decisions seem to be even quicker than before

3. Sitting with different people every day genuinely does mean I get to meet and spend time with not only different people in my team, but people outside of my team

4. Benugos is 100 times better in this building and I can’t wait to get a Pret.

5. The view is utterly stupefying and I’m privileged to enjoy it

6. I actually feel younger and more happening (do I look different?)

And what on earth do I actually need which I brought over in that box???

…I tell you, next I will be decluttering my house.

Frustrated Exhibitionist!

Last week I went from being a long term exhibitor at Safety and Health Expo to running the show as Event Director. 

Eeee how times have changed!  Long gone are the days when you could rock up at an event with a spot of shell scheme, a laptop and a few brochures and the visitors would come to you.  With the seniority of visitors to shows on the rise all the time (more junior sometimes aren’t allowed out of the office in these squeezed times) they come with a set intention in mind and sometimes with a shopping list….

Over the years, we learnt this at Barbour EHS and I was delighted to see that in spite of having possibly the worst position in the show (right at the back in the corner), they had a record breaking year for demos and even made 9 sales on the stand – unheard of when I started out.

I know some of our exhibitors know this, but here are the rules for maximising on your investment in an exhibition

  • yes chose your space well, but if you follow all the other rules, it doesn’t matter where you are on the floorplan!
  • Start planning 5-6 months out
  • Chose a gimmick of some sort which will attract people on your stand. The key is to find some relationship between what you do and what the gimmick is.  One year Barbour, as the fount of all health and safety knowledge, ran a master mind challenge
  • If you want to be perceived as a thought leader, approach the organiser about running content
  • Use ALL the opportunities for PR and marketing the organiser sends your way. 
  • Invite people using your personalised banners showing your stand number… BUT more than this … and please listen up here… BOOK APPOINTMENTS ON YOUR STAND!!!  Only 50% of them will turn up, but you will have quality conversations.  That’s how Barbour made those sales!
  • Train your stand personnel in what your objectives for the show are and how to “be” on the stand.  This is critical.
  • Follow up straight away.

If you need additional support, we can recommend

http://www.mconieagency.com/ specialise in health and safety PR

http://www.findnewbusiness.co.uk/ specialise in appointment making H&S and facilities

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/simon-naudi/2/527/652 exhibitor training for stand staff

http://www.facetime.org.uk/ training in getting the best from events