Exhibitors or Community?

CornerStone Article
CornerStone Article

The Lincoln Well-Being Show worked. Our community excelled itself, and of course, the success is solely down to the individuals who took the risk. No doubt the event was a risky venture. No, not the venue or community, the risk was the timescale. Events such as this should have at least four months lead time. The community pulled out all of the stops, and the organ roared. Four hundred visitors over the two days had connected to the messages and most of the community left on Sunday evening with a genuine feeling of achievement. I am not going to write further regarding the show and the immediate changes we will make. The adjustments to policies and will be explained later in the week by email.

This weekend reminded me of past experiences and the ideas which influenced me. One sentence stays with me: ‘It is the deal you walk away from, which makes you wealthy’ I like this phrase; let us think about what it means. There are many who are hungry for material success. If this objective becomes the number one factor, there may be problems ahead.  The sentiment guides us to make hard and seemingly damaging choices. It guides us to look at the long-term implications of placing profit before reputation. Liz and I place prestige far beyond short-term profit. Any who doubt this, have no place within our community.

During the show I spoke to ‘exhibitors’ – They stand alone, they are ‘exhibitors,’ not community. One ‘exhibitor’ decided to inform me how to make our show successful and attract more visitors. It is evident this ‘exhibitor’ has failed to read the WordPress posts, community bulletins and information on our website. When I am instructed “I had to learn”  how other organisers fill the events with “Better talks, better advertising, better everything.” My inner-self knows a silent answer: it is ‘How does this concern me?’ The ‘lessons’ of other organisers have nothing to do with me; it is of no importance how another person runs their business. Exhibitor or organiser do whatever you like; you can be sure Liz and I will not be following your methodology.

Enter deeper into my memory:-

I remember talking to an organiser who said to me “Readers and retailers are ten a penny, they all come and go.” Take your money wherever you like, because with this attitude there is no looking to the future. When driving home, you will reflect on the failed weekend. Often there is a non-acceptance of the truth. For example; there is a twisted reasoning which works something like this: ‘It was a great weekend, although the football match, shopping sale, or terrorist attack is the reason for the lack of attendance.’ The loser should be thinking ‘I cannot lose any more money with this. Is the problem, too many shows, diluted attendance, stagnant exhibitors?’ I know this if an individual wishes to consistently lose money they are fools. And the reasons for the losses are easy to see, I will repeat it: Too many shows, diluted attendance, stagnant exhibitors.

If Liz and I desired to take the money from another twenty people last weekend we could have done so. All we needed to do would be to remove the ‘wall-break’ and halved the eating area of the venue. This action would have provided room for twenty other stands and 3000 (average stand fee) pounds more revenue. The waiting list of ‘readers’ ‘crystal stands’ and ‘silver jewellery’ businesses exceeds forty in number; there would be no problem filling the venue. Where would our integrity be today if we’d have followed this path?

The problem is, the 400 total visitors would not have increased in number. If we’d have had ten talks both days, would this have bought more visitors? No, not enough for the other 20 stands. The line was drawn at fifty-six stands, any more we would have finished our reputation in a weekend. So remember this:-

‘It is the deal you walk away from, which makes you wealthy’

By the way, this is the sentiment of a millionaire. He was never greedy, insulting, boastful or ignorant. He guided me: “Ian you do not have to do every deal, you do not have to take everyone’s money. If you do not trust someone; even though you can earn a few grand with their deal, Sod ‘em, they will affect your long-term objectives. Ian,  greed can ruin you over the long term.”

The reader should understand: Our work is for the community: Individuals and renegade ‘know all’s’ have no place in what we are building together. The ‘exhibitor’ has NO knowledge of what Liz and my intentions are ahead in time. The ‘exhibitor’ is guided to understand, Liz and I listen to the communities feelings, thoughts, creative ideas. We do not concern ourselves with others methodology. For example; a man said to me on Sunday ‘Where are the glossy ‘Show Guides?’ – My answer ‘We will not spend a thousand pounds on them. Liz and I will not enter into a show without sufficient profit to re-invest in our community.’ Without profit we are not being responsible to our community.

There is a previous post which mentions an individual who commented: “I do not know how new organisers will make a difference.” Well, truth to tell Liz and I have made a difference, so much so, we received an email this morning from a seasoned member of our community who said: “Overnight you have become the new yardstick – You have changed the game” We replied ‘No. You have become the measure. You changed the game.’

The ‘exhibitor’ I wrote of earlier changed nothing, and in truth, they are best taking their stand fee elsewhere. Our community interacts, works together with mutual respect. There is no place in our community, for ‘exhibitors’ or the Underminer. However, we are fair, let us see if they continue to ‘know-all’ – And the moment I feel they are damaging the community, they will be shown the door. The genius ‘exhibitor’ is not the community; it is best they leave with our blessings. Liz and I have a priority; it is to the community. There is no room for anyone who think’s we will follow the methods of others. Our community is beginning to realise; they are the event, not the building, organiser or promotion. This knowledge will become their prosperity. Remember the objective of each show is for visitors to interact with the community and leave with ideas of how to become a ‘Well Being’. Liz and I love the idea of this catchphrase ‘Celebrate Life – Become a Well Being’.

Nothing is harder than the truth. You can be sure Liz and I work to give our community a platform to become profitable. If our community does not ‘work’ for you, or our ethos does not fit, that’s fine. I remind you we have no interest in other peoples methodology; we have every interest in the progressive comments, ideas and interests of our community.

Wealth has nothing to do with money. Integrity, honesty and constant adjustment will always provide an excellent living.


  1. Well said Ian time will tell but after Lincoln I think you have got it right the atmosphere in the epic centre was that of old positive,happy,and confident bring on Newark well done both of you x x

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