When Mick Jagger proclaimed that time was on his side, I can’t help but wonder if he was actually talking about timelines. They are a great way to use time to your advantage. At Exhibit Concepts, we believe that creating an inclusive, realistic timeline is critical to a successful project, particularly when it comes to optimizing productivity. Better yet, it makes putting time on your side a real possibility.
When considering the art of productivity, the Japanese serve as a compelling example of successfully changing an industry with a simple philosophy about waste: Muda. Translated, it means “futility; uselessness; wastefulness” also known as lean manufacturing. This approach to eliminating waste has completely transformed the heart of the automotive industry. It has guided many automakers to properly allocate resources in order to find the most effective way to increase profitability.
The elimination of waste is also very important in the trade show industry, and one of the aspects we have focused on is using a timeline to guide us to a path of prosperous productivity. With over 80,000 square feet devoted to manufacturing and prep at our headquarters in Dayton, Ohio and another 10,000 square feet in our Chicago office, efficiency is key. Creating a detailed timeline and sticking to it from concept through all phases of production and shipment is how we get there.
Here are a few ways timelines can benefit your trade show program:
1. Reap the Rewards of Anticipation
While we cannot predict everything, there are many trade shows that our clients attend consistently, year after year. When we know a show is coming, our team can properly allocate resources to deliver the best possible experience for clients.
Better yet, incorporating the trade shows we know will occur gives us flexibility to handle the other shows that appear in the schedule along the way.
2. Time to Take Responsibility
Timelines aren’t just about scheduling; assigning responsible parties to each task along the way is a crucial component. The success of any company lies with good communication, and making individuals responsible for the outcome of important tasks is essential. Likewise, client responsibility should be noted in the document. Ownership and accountability ensures all parties stay on track and sets expectations with great clarity.
At Exhibit Concepts, this has become somewhat of an unofficial motto around our offices. After 39 years in the trade show, commercial interior, and museum industry, we know all too well that every project and each client is unique. When it comes to unique, however, nothing is more so than the wooden crates we use to ship property across the world for our customers.
As a kid, did you ever want to walk on the moon? Maybe you still dream of going into space one day. Thanks to a donation, a lucky group of second graders at St. Albert the Great School in Kettering, Ohio step foot on the moon every time they walk into their classroom.
We believe creativity isn’t just delivering fresh, innovative ideas to clients. It goes much deeper than that, into the realm of understanding (and anticipating) their needs, interpreting the vision, and offering solutions along the way.
To truly appreciate the present (and future) one must first appreciate history. The Computer History Museum, located in Mountain View, California, with stunning views of the Santa Cruz Mountains, tells the compelling story of how computers and software have evolved. Surrounded by the headquarters of some of the largest technology companies in the world, including Google and Symantec, it’s the ideal setting to pay homage to computing’s significant impact on our society.
Are your booth staffers greeting French-speaking attendees in English at a show in Paris? Does your English marketing tagline make sense when translated into Portuguese? Are you asking for hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars, but have no way to prove your ROI because you are not evaluating your program? Many companies who exhibit at international trade shows make these COMMUNICATION MISTAKES, which fall into two main areas: Messaging and Engagement. In this 4-part series: Common Mistakes Made by International Exhibitors, we are identifying these mistakes and suggesting tactics to avoid them in the future. You can read Part One, AWARENESS, here and Part Two, PREPARATION, here.