Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stating the Obvious

There are times when stating the obvious needs to be done.

We recently were at a conference and saw a few issues that could be addressed and improved for next year. Yes, we want to see the conference improve and also want to ensure that we can add a little bit of value to the conference. I want to show that making comments to the right people can go a long way.

The conference was wonderful and I did enjoy it and had a great experience helping out at a booth for a community group. What problems there were, weren’t large, but fixing them would make the booth better for next year and give the group a little better imagine and that is very important.

The issues that I saw quickly were:
  • The location was not identified in the book so no one knew what it was for.
  • The tables were not in an ideal location because not everyone saw the tables if they weren’t going to specific rooms for sessions.
  • Our community group didn’t have anything to identify it was at the table. Another organization had a table cover which helped.
  • Nothing was visible to show that a lot of the table was for user groups.
  • Ensure people manning the booth understand the user group.

Some quick solutions that were done during the show:
  • Individuals at least from our group had an addition to their name tag to show that they were part of that table.
  • Taped a flyer onto the computer to help it be identified.

Improvements that can be done for next year:
  • Have location identified in the book so that everyone knows where it is.
  • Banners and/or table skirt would help attract attention to the groups that are there.
  • Have something eye catching so that people want to come over and talk.
  • Have some notes for everyone that will be managing the booth so they have the information and can answer questions.

The ideas may be obvious but when I was talking to one individual their response was “those are obvious”, so if they were so obvious why weren’t they done prior to the event. Another individual was very happy to hear the improvements for next year and asked if they could be documented. If I had only listened to the first person with their response I wouldn’t have said anything else. I am glad to know that the person that is more in control of the booth and how it goes, is happy that we talked to them.

There are going to be times when “those are obvious” are really just that, but this time by stating them we give some positive feedback and we know it will be improved for next year. There are always going to be individuals that are not going to accept suggestions openly but when you find the right person you know the type of response you will get from them. I knew as soon as the first person was talking to me that the response was going to be quick and dismissive.

Stating the obvious can help sometimes because things can be missed and they need to be stated to help move things forward. Yes the things might be obvious to people but when you are handling many different things even the most obvious can be missed.

The outcome of me stating the obvious may have given me the job of "booth mom" at one conference which I am happy to do.

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