Just think…

I was out for my run this morning and randomly thought of an idea for a client. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t anything earth shattering. And yes, this does actually happen frequently. To some, ideas come during their morning shower, others on the car ride home, and still others in the middle of the night as they drift between sleep and visions from the next day’s impending agenda. For whatever reason, this morning it caught me particularly off guard. Chalk it up to uncharted time that allowed ideas to creep in and take hold. Somehow in our chaotic, whirlwind days it becomes easy to duck our heads into crazy schedules, back-to-back appointments and overflowing inbox’s – those little red Urgent! exclamation marks glaring at us – and in the midst of this routine chaos let it overtake our ability to, well, just let the mind take an unmitigated path that can result in something unexpected. I think it’s important to realize this, and to take the hidden minutes we have on these off times and use it to our advantage.

Maybe it’s as simple as remembering something we forgot to put on our yellow “To Do” sticky note. But maybe, just maybe, it’s that niche marketing idea for a client still trying to find their target audience that you haven’t let your mind relax at your desk enough to let in. Nevertheless, in an economy that continues to offer new ideas and increasingly brighter and more innovative technology, it is our job as marketers to continue to push the envelope of marketing change. Time is an especially precious commodity these days, and a force not to be reckoned with. I was researching trade shows for a client the other day and came across an article that noted a new technology that allows conference attendees to enter pre-show speaker chat rooms and determine the potential value of sessions before deciding whether or not to attend. (http://www.expoweb.com/Trends/Oct20098200463335PM.htm)

In the midst of the myriad of marketing tools available to companies, I am someone who still puts an important emphasis on live industry trade shows and seminars. I believe that a handshake can fuel a sale, and when possible, a face-to-face meeting can be the determining factor that puts a solid feeling behind a name or idea. The above “session chat room” point raises an interesting concept and one that illustrates how on the horizon looms a changing landscape for live events. Shows cost money and – almost of the same actual worth – time. Show management has been forced to get remarkably strategic when it comes to developing valuable and pertinent content for events to draw the intended high level audience essential to keep them at the forefront. More so than ever before they are challenged to capture attendee’s attention in creative and compelling ways to maximize attendee ROI. Chat rooms are a start. Agendas that feature out-of-the-box thinking have already started surfacing. It will be interesting to see how trade shows, seminars, and conferences evolve in the coming months.

During the run, I did pass a few other people out walking their dogs or walking and for a second thought perhaps they heard my mind working since each one turned around and looked at me as I ran by. Maybe I am onto this early morning idea thing? Bring a notepad with me perhaps? It was only when I paused my music post-workout that I realized the bubble had popped in my sneaker and a few rocks had gotten caught. Okay…..so what if they turned around because I sounded like a human rattle? I still had my idea and it still had some air in it.


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