What Paul needed was a trade show where he could meet people like him and talk about the problems he was facing. It needed to be diverse enough to cover all aspects of his professions, not just focused on cities, or airports, or shopping centers. As he thought through his problems, he realized that universities, airports, business complexes, cities, all had similar problems, and perhaps different solutions that he might be able to use.
But Paul wasn’t the easiest person to get to know. He didn’t feel comfortable walking up and introducing himself. In fact, just the opposite. How the hell was he supposed to “Connect” if he was tongue tied saying hello. He wasn’t good at finding his own way in social situations. He wasn’t the type to go over and sit down next to someone and introduce himself. He needed a wingman. And that wasn’t going to happen.
As he sat in the bar that evening, he began to describe to himself the perfect trade event for him.
There would be people in vests that were in the lobby of the hotel to direct him to the check in area, and then to the registration desk for the event. When he got there, more guides would show him where to sign up, and where the seminar and exhibits were being held. He wanted to see a real person, not just a sign or app on his phone.
Once on the exhibit hall floor, he would find more of these friendly guides to help him find specific vendors or give directions as to where the food, drink, water and particularly rest rooms were located.
Would there be events where he could meet people kinda like speed dating, limited to attendees and excluding vendors. He wondered if he could have an upscale dinner and maybe be seated with others from the event. Its easier to meet people over an entrée than in a hallway.
Would the parties be a tad more low key, so he could, if he dared, actually talk to someone and be heard? Would the exhibit hall be open hours that don’t conflict with seminars and speakers, so he could feel comfortable going to the exhibits and not miss a seminar he wanted to attend?
Would the seminars be limited in scope but diverse enough, so he didn’t feel he had to choose one over another? Would they be simply “pitches” from vendors or actual learning sessions on success and failures in his industry?
He guessed he wanted a user-friendly event where he could feel comfortable in an environment where he could meet and truly “connect.”
As he left the bar, he realized he hadn’t drunk as much that night. The next day he began his search for the perfect trade show.
To be continued…