It is important you consider these three points before continuing with this article.
Point one: I am writing about every genre of exhibition, trade show and specialist event. Therefore the word exhibitor is necessary for the article.
Two: After years of exhibiting at special events, and trade shows I am always amused by the ‘zombies’. They are a scarce and devious breed of attendees. The word attendees, not visitors must be well defined. Visitors are the 99.9% of people who are the reason for any event. And this 01% are within a no mans land: I name them zombies.
Three: There are direct parallels between events and daily life. It is a simple exercise to transpose the situation of an organised event into many situations. Four such circumstances are The workplace, academic environments, sports clubs and social gatherings. The reader could exercise the mind into to using this essay to benefit their environment.
Here is the situation.
An individual spends many years with a subject which brings personal enjoyment. Anything from meditation, composing, alternative healing, Tarot, or let’s go in a different direction, record and book collecting, toys or clothing: And other endless lists of possible areas of specialisation. At some point, the hobby changes from an interest in a specialist subject, and there is a need to look for further information and listen to other people who are prepared to share their knowledge.
The specialist visits a gathering or joins a society or club. By tapping into the pool of resources, wisdom and understanding, the reservoir of knowledge grows. Our friend then arrives at a point where a choice needs to be made. Do the interests become a possible source of revenue? Our friend has visited many exhibitions, thought carefully and compared abilities and decides to take the chance.
The skill is learned, and an organiser is approached to see if there is space to attend the event. And at this instant, another unexpected situation arises. Does our friend go for high quality and expensive venues or cheap and cheerful events? There is no answer to this question; the truth is all is a learning curve, and it is worth trying every avenue. One point is worth remembering; there are few situations we do not learn from, those who enter are part of the event. Those who do not participate can never succeed. In other words, we should be prepared to sometimes win and sometimes lose. This is an inevitable part of all learning curves, although, in truth, nothing is lost, all is a valuable lesson.
No matter what the situation or outcome. The relationship between the exhibitor and visitors must be understood. The exhibitor needs to establish a well-defined parameter surrounding their work. Whether the pitch is rented for demonstration, retail, service, therapy it makes no difference. The reason to embark upon the project must be fixed in mind and we must not waiver from the intent or purpose.
Let us consider the visitor relationship. The visitor likes to observe, make choices, learn something and make a purchase. They expect the exhibitor to be clear and purposeful in their presentation. The visitors do not expect to like or enjoy everything they see, even so, most respect the opinions of others, also if they do not agree. After all, in the spiritual genre, there are many avenues of doubt and supposition.
The exhibitor relationship: The exhibitor must understand this aspect of their work. A visitor will not interact with a head down in the iPhone exhibitor. He expects interaction on every level. So it an absolute obligation to demonstrate integrity. If the visitor sees the indifference at the sales point, they will correctly assess indifference is to be expected if they encounter an after sales problem. The second obligation is dedication: For example: If Lizzy is selling crystals that is her mission: If someone asks ‘Who would you recommend for…?’ Her answer is ‘I would recommend you talk to the relevant exhibitor’. The more we demonstrate an understanding of our skill or product, the more significant belief the visitor will have in the exhibitor.
We have covered the presentation of the stand and exhibitor on many occasions. However, this is an essential aspect of the visitor – exhibitor relationship. As it is in daily life, we assess people by their presentation. It is fair to write, the better we are seen to look after appearance, the higher the chance of us being noticed. Here is an extreme example of how presentation affects choices: On a personal level I do not give a penny to beggars in Nottingham, because, the ones I see on a yearly basis, all choose to be filthy, beg for their drugs, gut rot cider and slow suicide. Their appearance and clothing, are enough for me to make a choice not to be part of their degraded existence. The observation is this: Why would anyone wish to work with or give to anyone who does not meet their standards. The exhibitor presentation is used as a gauge by visitors.
I will return to the article. The story so far has a well-meaning individual moving from a hobby to expertise and deciding to use their knowledge as a source of income. Or maybe, a way of subsidising their research and interest. Whatever the reason, once they spend somewhere between one and three hundred pounds on a pitch, there is an accepted agreement between visitor and exhibitor, that some money will be exchanged. Few people are wealthy enough to stand for no return or profit (mark this sentence as core to this essay) therefore everyone accepts the financial aspect of the relationship.
Time passes and the doors of the venue open. The blend of spiritual kindness and interaction, a little commerce and education (talk and workshops) have combined to give an excellent and balanced atmosphere. The alchemical elements are flowing, material, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. Alchemical Elements? Yes, Earth, Air, Water and Fire produce the evasive fifth element of creativity and human unification. And, this has happened because 65 people are focussed on their particular and specific skill, art or intellectual knowledge. In an environment unified to a common purpose of giving the visitor a brilliant and enjoyable day or weekend.
Each exhibitor has made significant and long-term commitments. Many enter into financial debt in the early stages; many never see a bean for their endeavours, most understand the difficult equation. An equation which some choose to ignore. But, the fact is they make a commitment, understand the risks, pay their dues. Even if the show is slow or they don’t do too well, they can be confident that without their contribution, the event will be precisely 1/65th worse off.
The Zombie takes a different approach:
The Zombie is in ‘no mans’ land. Not a visitor or exhibitor. They believe they have some special skill or knowledge which everyone should have rammed into their mind. They break the relationship between exhibitor and visitor. What do they do? They attempt to sell exhibitors and sometimes visitors ‘something’. It may be a ritual, therapy, goods, products, a spiritual ideal, a specialist therapy, a something. I do not care what they sell; I know they are Parasites and Zombies. They wander the floor looking to sell their ‘sales pitch’.
Oh Yes. The organisers and exhibitors have worked together. Each exhibitor has paid for their 1/65 of the show. They have their area of expertise and provided they understand the ethos and protocols, the pitch is theirs to use as they like. The organiser cannot intervene, the relationship is a visitor – exhibitors experience. The floor is theirs; the promotion is theirs, every atom of the event is theirs. They have paid for it with a combination of years of learning. Paid for it with hundreds of pounds worth of materials, books, lessons, courses, training. Their pitch has an accumulated cost of money rarely regained over years of exhibiting. The exhibitor is the show; they own the floor, they have paid for it. And the Zombie Parasite enters the show and attempts to sell their ideas to the exhibitors and visitors without paying their due fee.They wander the floor looking to sell their ‘sales pitch’.
Oh Yes. Only a mind without the true understanding of life, emotions and intellect will ignore the exhibitor’s work, dedication and commitment. Only the sterile brain is able to override their prey’s inner pleas; two words ‘Go away’. The Zombie – Parasite has not the strength or confidence to pay their dues and stand up and be seen. They prefer to sell their ideas without dignity, integrity or contribution. The Zombie believes they can influence and affect those who do take the risk and make the commitment. They are parasite nothing more, nothing less.
They walk the floor every exhibitor has purchased. Peacocks, full of spurious knowledge, genius, genii, magic, books and ideas. I ask you, if they are so brilliant why do they not pay for the right to stand and be counted? The evidence of their actions proves they do not possess human understanding or integrity. If they desire to tout for business, let them pay for the pitch. And the Zombie Parasites who intimate they are part of the event are also fraudulent. Not a one, is welcome or encouraged to enter our events.
The visitor – exhibitor relationship is sacred. It is a symbiotic agreement, the second a visitor attempts to sell to the exhibitor, that visitor becomes Zombie, a parasite, breeding from the exhibitors, years of commitment, devotion, dedication.
See You Soon
A stand worth taking and a point worth making Ian
Thank You, Campbell – We have all watched these people over the years. The key is we make many investments in our work. And it seems to me anyone who turns up at an event with the sole purpose of using it to present their sales pitch is selfish and greedy. Ok, there are many people with a genuine interest in people work and will ask many questions. The problem arises when their intent is to use a platform paid for by the exhibitors to promote their own ideas and products. I see this as a selfish and unthinking act. We have no problem with promoting other peoples work here on the ‘News” or putting flyers etc in our leaflet table. The line for me is drawn through touting at OUR events. See You Soon – IAn
Sadly we see these type in all types of shows and gatherings, we unhitch them as soon as it becomes evident what their game is.
Begone, vile entity, I mutter under my breath, just loud enough for their subconscious to hear but none other.
Thank You for your comment Kevin, when we force the awareness we deal with the issue. See you soon – Ian