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What do a Porche 911 Carrera and a Tradeshow Exhibit have in common?

March 09, 2017

A couple of days ago I witnessed something that I found very interesting, something that possibly makes a difference between the ones that never say die, and the ones that never lived, because they give up much too early, not knowing that they were so close.


So, what do they have in common?


A couple of days ago I witnessed something that I found very interesting, something that possibly makes a difference between the ones that never say die, and the ones that never lived, because they give up much too early, not knowing that they were so close.

“Our greatest glory is not in not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” Confusius.

Ah. Let me tell you about what I witnessed.

An RACQ tow truck, so what so special about that you may ask, well nothing much about the truck BUT, on the back of the truck, tied up very securely, a gleaming silver Porsche 911 Carrera, worth approximately $280,000.

There was no sign of an accident on the car. One will assume that it didn't run out of fuel, so I concluded it was something mechanical, and in a car like this more than likely a computer problem. So what's so special about this? Once again not much we all have seen prestige cars being towed for one reason or the other.

What was special, was what was in the front of the truck. There was one truck driver, with the biggest smile on his face seemingly listening to the passenger roaring with laughter. Now here's the special bit. This owner of this Porsche, laughing his head off, dressed in a suit, tie, and white shirt, a professional going to work, if I can venture a guess, cracking jokes with the RACQ driver. There were no signs of anger, or frustration, he was not phased by what was happening

I had one very old car once, value $1250 and I had to call RACQ, and I was really cheesed off that this stupid car let me down, I couldn't see the funny side of it at all. I remember speaking to the car and saying “that's it, you're gone” I was angry, and frustrated.

So what`s the difference between this guy, and me, and possibly many people like me. The answer is so simple, it came to me instantly. IT'S ATTITUDE!!

I could not see this guy getting upset with his car, even though it was an inconvenience. I could not see this guy talking to his car saying “you're gone”. I could not see this guy saying I will never buy another Porsche. No, but I could see this guy fixing the problem, taking the car for a drive, and when it's safe to do so, and nobody is looking, wink wink, he will put his expensive shoes to the pedal, to check if the old attributes are still there. Then he will move on.

Now, here's the common denominator between the porche owner and the tradshow exhibitor.


I have been in the trade show industry for twenty-five years as a supplier, and also providing an advice service. In these twenty-five years I have noticed a lot of changes in the industry, as you would have. As a supplier to the industry I went to a lot of trade shows all over the world. and I, like many noticed the changes, that were transforming the industry. These changes were a challenge to most exhibitors, the large and the small, the large ones were becoming larger, more expensive and more elaborate, whilst the smaller ones were finding it hard keeping up with the Joneses, and their competitors. This was leading to a very common human aspect. "Its too hard, why am I doing this, let the others fight amongst themselves. I`m out of here."


As one may expect I do have a considerable database of trade show exhibitors. To manage our database we conduct surveys on regular bases, which show us that many just give up exhibiting.


  • It's getting too expensive.
  • The number of visitors was smaller than expected.
  • We are not getting the results we were expecting.
  • The trade show was not very well organised.
  • We didn`t make any money last year.

These are all very relevant reasons for giving up, but giving up is not the way to go. The way to go is by way of fixing the problem you are experiencing, and move on. (Stats of success in going to person to person events here they are again.)


Back to the guy with the Porsche for a second, you can be sure that when his car stopped, he didn't open the hood, the booth in his case, and started pulling wires, fiddling with engine parts. WHY, because he knows that he is not equipped to do so, he knows nothing about how to fix a Porsche, so he's going to the experts to fix it for him.

On the other hand, very few trade show exhibitors ever seek advise from the experts. In many cases they decide to exhibit because the Joneses are going, they decide how they should look, by comparing to the Joneses, a little better than them will be good enough.

(Need pic. Of searching for advise.)


When you decide that you are going to invest in exhibiting at a trade show you need to have the right attitude and all the good reasons for investing.

You must keep in mind that PERSON TO PERSON events rate better than any other marketing strategy.

You must keep in mind that a positive attitude will bring a positive outcome. Copying your competition is already putting you in negative territory.

You must keep in mind that the only way you will fail is if you go with a negative approach and without being prepared and fully armed.

The positive attitudes, are the attitudes of those business owners who truly believe in their businesses. The ones that go there fully prepared, the ones that did their homework, and are open enough to seek advise from the experts that are willing to share their knowledge, especially when most of the time it’s free. As you will see going to a trade show very well prepared is not easy, but definitely achievable, if only one can ask for assistance.

The ones that give up and fail are:

  • The ones that did not know how to prepare, and arm themselves.
  • The ones that did not understand what is involved.
  • The ones that did not seek advise when needed.
  • The ones that have unrealistic expectations.

It will not be easy, there is a lot of planning to be done.

So where is it you go to seek advise?

#1 at yours truly with 25 years experience in the field we can answer most questions, and it’s free.

#2 At the organisors of the trade show, make sure that you ask more questions than they are giving answers to on their brochures. Read between the lines, and pay attention to the fine print. Make sure that you understand the terms and conditions, having read them last year is not enough as they change frequently.

#3 Join EEAA, Exhibition and Events Association of Australia, this is the body behind the trade show industry, in Australia. Find them at

#4 Subscribe to an Industry magazine like The Exhibitor, at,

#4 Join the Centre of Exhibition Industry Research, @

If the above is beginning to make sense, then the next step is for you is to ask yourself “how well do I know my product ?” We will talk about in the next article.

One final comment, whenever you started preparing for your trade show last year, you were late. This year, start now!!!