I have recently returned from exhibiting at an international trade fair. Our pink, orange, and yellow t-shirts and colourful stand design stood out majestically amidst of sea of greys, whites, and the occasional navy blue. On arrival at the event, I momentarily found myself thinking: is this the right event for us? Have we perhaps gone a bit over-the-top?
I grew up in a family where the unspoken motto was ‘keep your head down and don’t draw attention to yourself’. Ironically, as a family we did just that. Our poverty, third-hand unwashed clothes, and extreme religious fervour meant that we were commonly known as the ‘weird family’. At the time, it was unpleasant. Now, I’m not so sure. Gone has the religious fervour and third-hand unwashed clothing. And I can no longer plead poverty, but standing out, I realise, is a good thing.
Our exhibition stand was proof, if needed, that standing out attracts interest. We were inundated with visitors from start to finish. Some seeking refuge in our warm and colourful surroundings, others excited by the fact that we were offering something totally new.
The responsibility that accompanies standing out
But standing out comes with a responsibility to stand up. Otherwise, its all show and no substance (or all fur coat and no knickers) as my genial neighbour would say). If you’re going to stand out, you have to stand for something worthwhile, and use the interest you amass to make a positive difference.
Exhibitions are a costly affair. At every twist and turn someone wants to charge you more than an arm and a leg for basic services like access to a plug socket or decent Wi-Fi. After forking out for all of this you might even be lucky to escape with a torso intact. So, it has to be worth it. We calculated that it was. Why?
Well, we were able to promote our multiplayer team development toolkit, Muster. It is an application proving it is possible to replicate online the dynamism of face-to-face interaction by co-opting multiplayer gaming technology.
But why is that important? Here are three reasons why.
- Think of all those air and road miles, that are needlessly travelled for teams to meet. Until now, they’ve had no choice, but with team development delivered via multiplayer game tech, the planet is a lot happier.
- Remote Teams have had to miss out on regular team development, with the result that productivity and engagement levels across all industries are woefully low. Now they can access the coaching support they need, whenever they need it.
- With hybrid and remote working patterns bedding in, more and more teams are going to need tools that work for them, helping them to become high performing and maintaining high levels of effectiveness.
So, I and my team were pleased to stand out, not like a sore thumb but a very colourful blossom among a field of brown, or a beacon in a foggy grey.