Category: Inspirational Speaker

So, Doctor, when is the Best Time?

In delivering motivational talks on helping pharmaceutical sales reps get better results, I know all too well the dreaded refrain that many sales reps hear: “I think the drug has strong possibilities, I just don’t think that now is the right time.”

Procrastination

Of all of the sales objections, procrastination is one of the most difficult to overcome. It is a conversation stopper and delayer. In fact, it can delay a sale indefinitely to “maybe” next month, next quarter, next year.  It is a way to express an objection without seeming to hurt your feelings. The intention is to have you leave the office thinking they are nice people. In truth, they’ve delayed your sale and weakened sales results. But why?

Sales performance writer Bryan Gonzalez, in his January 2019 article for HubSpot entitled “The 7 Most Common Sales Objections by Prospects & How to Overcome Them,” lists procrastination as one of the most cumbersome objections.

“Prospects are busy. They will push anything off to tomorrow because today is swamped. Don’t let them! You have a solution they needed yesterday. Reassure them that this is not a buying conversation. You just want to show them what you do, and see if there’s value for them.”

If you have made it into the office, be determined to provide valuable education without being overbearing. You are there to educate as to what the drug can do and how it will help their patients.

Laura Tobias wrote an article for the Lincoln Health Network entitled “Bringing Pharma Reps Back to the Top.”

One of the observations Tobias made was:

“Some medical schools have entire classes devoted to teaching students how to encounter sales reps – doctors are essentially taught how to say ‘no.’ They are also trained to tell patients not to take highly advertised drugs and to instead opt for something that is more effective, even if it’s less known…” If a sales rep calls on a practice with the same information, the same approach and a lack of interest as to the HCP’s needs, it should not be a surprise if procrastination and a lack of interest are the result.

Last year, Michael Kirsch MD wrote an article for KevinMD entitled “How Should Salespeople Sell to Doctors?” in which he gave an example as to why physicians are often put off by sales reps.

He wrote that his practice was called on by two pushy salespeople who focused on the dollars the practice could make rather than the patients that could be helped.

“Not once did either of them mention, even by accident (that they) might help a human being,” said Kirsch. “These guys were so clumsy and so transparent that they weren’t even adept enough to feign an interest in contributing to the health of liver patients.” The sales reps missed the point entirely.

Unless sales reps are determined to give health care providers a reason to not push them away, many HCPs will revert to their training and conditioning that tells them, in essence, “This sales rep lacks the vision to see my mission of helping patients and to be the best I can be in my practice.”

The HCP may be telling you they want to put off the decision, but what they may really mean is that you are lacking the grit to form a meaningful relationship and to provide them with the knowledge they need.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Motivational Pharmaceutical Sales Speaker on Getting Stronger Results for your next meeting reach us through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169

 

They Once Called Banking “Dull,” No One Believes That Now

 

As a banking & financial services change management motivational speaker who came out of those industries, I am intimately aware of the myths. The biggest myth is that the profession is dull. As we all know, nothing could be further from the truth.

Banking Exchange Contributing Editor Ed O’Leary recently wrote:

“Banking has always been primarily a relationship business…so it seems to me that in a successful commercial lending business model, there remains the need for creative intervention of a human sort…at its heart, commercial lending is a highly interpersonal business where we earn our way by being creative with our customers and their needs and with our banks in the management of the risks of financial intermediation.”

While O’Leary is clearly well-versed of the changes that digitalization has brought to the industry, he is even more aware of the unjustified perceptions that have led to a decline in the industry finding bright new talent.

“The lack of newly trained talent augurs well for lucrative careers and job security. But what might it really portend for the industry? Maybe too many people have paid too much attention to the nonsense that banking isn’t innovative or interesting. I can’t imagine anything further removed from reality.”

If commercial lenders have been wrestling with how they will meet the challenge of change, financial services brokers have been going through even more turbulent times. In fact, and in strange ways, change is forcing all of us to come together.

Are you determined to manage the changes?

Managing the Changes in Financial Services

When I give keynote addresses to brokers on how they’re managing changes within their area of the financial services and banking industry, I am often told, “Scott, it’s overwhelming,” or “You won’t believe what’s coming next.”

Twenty years ago, with the exception of science fiction writers, no one in the financial services community could have imagined concepts such as “customer intelligence,” AI, Blockchain, FinTech companies, cloud computing, robotics or cyber-security for that matter.

One of the many projected changes PWC Global envisions for 2020 is the expansion of the shared economy for the financial system.

“By 2020, consumers will need banking services, but they may not turn to a bank to get them. Or, at least, maybe not what we think of as a bank today. The so-called sharing economy may have started with cars, taxis, and hotel rooms, but financial services will follow soon enough.”

There just may be, as the report suggests, a sharing of financial sources just as we currently experience with ride sharing and apartment sharing.

The changes will force commercial lenders and financial services organizations to be more inventive, more customer service oriented and more digitally savvy than ever before. The good news is that those institutions and leaders who have the courage to envision managing these changes will be rewarded with incredible opportunities.

Are you resolute enough to embrace the possibilities?

 

Engage Scott Burrows, Banking & Financial Services Change Management Speaker for your next industry meeting through this website or by calling us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to Reach Your Biggest Goal? Try Rewiring Your Brain

 

As an inspirational speaker on success, reinvention and mindset, I often encourage my audiences to “rewire their brains.” What do I mean by that? Obviously, I’m not suggesting surgery, but something much more distinct and focused. Neuroscience studies tell us that if we want to reach our biggest goals, we must learn to rewire our brains each and every day.

“I Can’t Change the Way I Am”

One of the most common ways in which we fail to reach our goals is that we convince ourselves we are too old, too tired, or sadly, “too defeated” to change. However, the latest research begs to differ.

The October 24, 2018 issue of Neuroscience News relates the research of noted neuro-scientist, Dr. D. Gilbert. His groundbreaking research suggests that “even when we’re not consciously forming new memories, our brains can change in important ways, altering how we interpret and interact with the world.”

It has long been known that when the brain is injured in an accident it begins to heal itself by finding new pathways. This is how a person who is partially paralyzed can find new brain pathways to create movement in the limbs.

Dr. Gilbert’s research shows us its much more encompassing that that.

“We had always suspected that this ability to form new connections in the adult brain isn’t something that just evolved as a way to recover after injury,” says Gilbert. “Rather, it’s a mechanism that we’re using in our brains all the time.”

Therefore, if we are motivated to go after an important goal, whether it is to get into better shape or work toward a promotion, if we develop a positive mindset and reinforce it, we can better achieve personal success.

Writer Elle Kaplan’s recent article, “How to Rewire Your Brain For Massive Success, According to Neuroscience,” related there are five things we should do every day to help us reach our goals.

These include: engaging in challenging brain activities, looking for new ways to solve problems, imagining the person you want to become, finding a long-term goal, and expanding the way you think.

All of these activities focus on changing our mindsets and having the determination to reach the goals we seek. How will you overcome the obstacles to achieving your goal? How will you energize your brain to better interpret and interact with the world? Who is it you want to become, and indeed, are you satisfied with where you are? What is that one goal you have always wanted to achieve? How do you make your world larger?

Every one of these questions puts you in charge of your life because in the end, only you can create those changes. It leads me to the hardest question of all: do you have the daily, sometimes hourly grit to transform your life?

After my accident, I realized in order to regain function and movement I not only had to have the determination and mindset to rewire my brain, but the daily grit to make it happen. Words are cheap, but grit is real. You can change your life, but you must be dedicated enough to make it happen. You can do it if you believe you can do it.

Contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Keynote Speaker on Success, Neuroscience and Changing Mindset through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Difference Between Noise and Knowledge is You

It is no secret that I admire the sales representatives who work in the pharmaceutical industry. As a motivational sales speaker for pharmaceutical conferences, it is my mission to assist all of you in helping to overcome the adversity you encounter every day.

A Hard Life, A Rewarding Life

The Princeton Review describes the life of a pharmaceutical sales rep in these terms:

“This territory-oriented business can be a hard life, particularly for those trying to maintain their family life as well. The need to sell extends to social functions and free time…This difficult balancing act is complicated by the additional pressure of being in a commission-based occupation.”

The description, as we all know, is just the beginning of the obstacles. Chances are, you will be on the road 100 or more days a year, you make at least 2,800 visits a year, and you are constantly “facing managed care rejections.” Then there is the public and professional perception of pharmaceutical companies that often extend to those of you just trying to do their jobs.

The data backs me up – no, it’s not your imagination. There was once a time when most health care providers were “rep accessible.” In 2008, a responsive provider might have been available 80 percent of the time – or more. By 2015, it had slipped to about 50 percent and two years later to just under 45 percent.

In my work as an inspirational sales speaker for pharmaceutical conferences, I know the importance of what you do. I have met you, understand you and value you. You bridge the huge gap between research and knowledge, better health and wellness, and often, between unawareness and awareness. You bring worth and you are appreciated. The appreciation must start with one important person, you.

You are the Difference Maker

The pharmaceutical sales rep working a territory, often with only a car radio and GPS as friends, are the true changemakers in a time of adversity for the pharmaceutical industry. Are you willing to overcome that adversity and add the value that you know you can bring?

How do you make a difference in the lives of people who need the product you represent? How can you carry the desire to make that difference into every healthcare setting and to every HCP you meet?

Do you have the vision to believe that what you do brings incredible value to the healthcare equation? You bring value, knowledge, experience and you make a true difference.

Do you have the mindset to overcome the adversity you encounter on a daily basis? It isn’t always easy, but with a mindset of understanding that what you do can ultimately bring a benefit to someone’s life, how can you not develop the mindset?

Finally, how determined are you to make the difference? If not you, then who? Determination, the grit within you to overcome the adversities you may encounter, is a skill you can learn.

I believe every pharmaceutical sales rep can make a true difference. Let me help prove it to you at your next conference.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Motivational Sales Speaker for Pharmaceutical Conferences through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Have the Determination to Make Your Workplace Diverse

 

As an inspirational speaker on Diversity & Inclusion, I often hear the sentiment “I wish our organization would be more inclusive, but progress has been slow – and I’m a nobody.”

As a quadriplegic, I admire the capabilities and understand the dilemma of those who are physically challenged and cannot get hired. I am also well aware of the under-representation of women, minorities and the LGBTQ communities in the workplace. Things are finally beginning to change due to a realization that inclusive workplaces are healthier workplaces.

Quality Logic, a software development organization, published an article in October 2018 on diversity in their industry.

They pointed out that “one of the biggest things stopping managers from implementing diversity is the fear that introducing people who ‘are different’ and ‘don’t understand’ each other will hamper productivity.”

In fact, the opposite appears to be true. According to a Forbes article, “racially diverse teams outperform non-diverse ones by 35%.”

Some may call this outperformance a shared sense of social justice, but as someone deeply interested in diversity and inclusion I feel that the more life experiences diverse teams bring to the workplace, the more creative and dynamic the result.

The employment research firm Glassdoor found that 67 percent of job seekers want to be a part of a more diverse team and 57 percent want a commitment to diversity to be a high priority.

Interestingly, Glassdoor found that of those surveyed, 45 percent felt it was the hiring managers, not the CEO, who needed to step up and be determined to hire more minority candidates.

Time for a New Vision?

In April 2019, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) offered an article entitled “The Biggest Reason Companies Avoid Hiring Diversity? 41% Say They’re ‘Too Busy.’” Can this be true at face value?

SHRM felt that the 41 percent stat “reveals just how small of a priority diversity hiring is. If managers want anything to get done about the lack of diversity on their teams, they’ll need to start fitting it into their schedule.”

Could it be that many hiring managers have an inherent fear of minority hiring? It would appear so. The National Bureau of Economic Research found, “When reviewing resumes, specifically looking at just the name, those associated with Caucasian descent received 50% more callbacks than those associated with African American descent, regardless of the industry.”

Hiring fears over inclusion don’t just stop and start with minorities. A 2017 study by Rutgers University involved sending out fictitious job applications of almost 6,000 positions to hiring managers of accounting firms. About 67 percent of those applications stated disabilities such as spinal cord injuries in the cover letters. The fictitious applicants stating disabilities received 26 percent fewer responses from hiring managers.

As someone who is often wheelchair-bound I am fearful as well as thankful. Thankful for the business opportunities I’ve had to excel in the insurance and financial services arena as well as my current profession as a motivational business speaker.

But I am fearful as well. How many outstanding applicants with spinal injuries have been passed over not for lack of credentials, but caution over how well they might fit into the organization?

How many tremendous African American, Latino or other minority candidates have been turned away, not to mention highly qualified women or those of different sexual orientations?

Your employees are encouraging you to have the determination to make workplaces more diverse. They want you to succeed in that mission. We must rise above our worries to understand that inclusion and diversity are the keys to stronger, more profitable and more dynamic organizations.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Diversity & Inclusion Motivational Speaker through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Stay Engaged to Save Lives at Work

 

As an inspirational safety speaker, I know all too well that the safety industry has traditionally focused on force feeding workers a diet of safety posters, safety lectures, safety demonstrations and horrific tales of gruesome injuries about “someone else.” It is a multi-pronged attack that checks all the right compliance boxes. This approach often causes people to disengage.

Part of the problem stems from the traditional “blue collar” and “white collar” designations. Those who toil on the job are often viewed as having less of an ability to personalize safety messages as the folks in the air-conditioned offices. Having been “a worker” and “an executive,” I knew this bias was untrue. In fact, when “safety” gets divided into “them” and “us,” it often results in more injuries throughout the organization. Scientific research backs me up.

Safety is a Story

The frontal lobe is one of seven parts of our brains. It is where we do our higher reasoning, however, appealing to only reason does little to drive a message home. This is not a new fact. It’s been around for centuries.

For example, when workers pass one of those safety posters with the stick figures lifting the wrong way, it does practically nothing for engagement. Even when the posters have info-graphics as to lifting, pushing and pulling statistics, no one fully takes that into their memory.

Telling a worker that in 2018, nearly 300,000 workers (based on National Safety Council statistics) were badly injured by incorrectly lifting does little good, if he or she didn’t know any of the injured people.

If the “blue collar” workers are found to disengage from safety messages, those in the office aren’t faring better. For example, Automotive Fleet magazine (May 25, 2018) explained that commercial automotive fleet accident rates have risen to almost 20 percent of all automobile accidents. The reasons aren’t faulty tires or winter storms, but far more basic, “…the No. 1 factor contributing to the increase in accidents continues to be distracted driving, especially among company drivers. Employees use company vehicles as their mobile offices and multitask while driving, which creates more opportunities for distraction.”

The same executives who stress workers aren’t being mindful on the job are themselves not mindful when they are driving to sales calls, job sites or to and from the office. Who’s to blame for the lack of safety engagement? Perhaps we should put the biggest blame on our amazing brains.

While there is a part of the brain that remembers facts and stick figures crying “Ouch!” it doesn’t prevent someone from lifting the wrong way or getting into an accident when driving while on their smartphone. Am I saying posters or classes are useless? Not at all. They can reinforce the story, but they are not the story. The inspirational safety story is a memorable story.

Engagement Demands “Why”

I am a safety statistic and safety storyteller. On November 3rd, 1984, I was a passenger in a friend’s car. As an athlete and martial artist, I guess I thought accidents happened to other people. Despite everything I had seen, heard and read I decided to not wear a seatbelt for a short ride down the beach. My friend lost control of the vehicle and I broke two vertebrae in my neck and suffered a serious spinal cord injury. I went from an athlete and martial artist to being diagnosed a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair. It is an intensely personal safety story and it is impactful for my audiences.

A safety story, up close and personal, is the best way to engage the entire brain, along with the other tools. Our brains are more likely to wire in information when it is tied to emotion. What engages us is that personal connection.

My mission is to tell that story, and help every employee develop a safety mindset and safety vision, with the determination to make safety a daily part of their story.

Contact Scott Burrows, Inspirational Safety Speaker through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

Do You Know Your Members and Do They Know You?

 

As I frequently deliver overcoming adversity keynote and breakout session speeches to association executions, I was quite bothered by a recent poll taken by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

ASAE reported organizations were concerned that member expectations were changing and the organizations themselves lacked data about their members and even a capacity to analyze that data.

Can You Imagine?

We don’t often think of associations as “having customers,” but they clearly do. The customers of associations are their members. Numerous surveys — and I have witnessed this first-hand — warn of members going rogue; of members spinning off and either forming their own organizations or in some way, undermining the original organization. Unfortunately, all that this usually accomplishes is to dilute industry efforts, weaken messages, and confuse potential members about the true mission of the organization.

Peggy Smith, writing for Community Brands, April 2019, talked of several major association challenges. Her organization conducted its own survey and found “…the strategic focus has been on member acquisition and increasing revenue. Fewer have been or think they will be successful at increasing retention, although this is a goal…”

What this tells us is the association industry is doing a pretty good job of attracting new members and increasing the revenue from those members, but the industry doubts it will have much luck in keeping those members. It is widely known that attracting new members is not cheap. In fact, the industry standard shows that it can be up to five times more expensive to attract a new member than to retain a current member.

Here is where my idea of “association determination” comes into play. Combining similar findings of these and other surveys, it seems that many organizations are giving up meeting the expectations of existing members, they are unwilling to overcome adversity; to learn about their needs, in order to keep attracting new members. As it is more expensive to attract new members, many organizations go into a cycle of doing the same thing over and over and essentially marching in place.

Organizations that are determined to retain their members, to learn about them, to really listen to what they are saying are the winners in this scenario. One of the most effective ways to retain members is to continuously engage them. Certainly, we have the means to do so, either by personal calls thanking them for being members, or listening to their concerns and needs, or creating vibrant communities within the association community.

We can be determined to use a blend of modern technology as well as traditional methods to keep members engaged, using tools from mobile apps and websites, to online forums and online surveys, to personal thank you letters and one-on-one discussions.

When Associations Fail

Forbes magazine, in a 2018 article on why associations fail, stress at least three important things associations must do to remain vibrant:  build a strong consensus among the existing membership; make sure the membership supports what they have helped to build; and most important – listen more than you talk.

Are we willing to overcome the temptation to simply take in more and more “followers” rather than to engage, include and reach out to the committed members we already have? Let’s not forget that our “customers” are our greatest strength. Be determined to learn who they are, retain them, value them and listen to their needs. In turn they will be your greatest ambassadors.

 

To book Scott Burrows, Inspirational Overcoming Adversity Speaker for Association Executives, contact him through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

You May Be Your Biggest Competitor

Speaking to sales teams or individual sales reps about overcoming objections, I like to casually ask this question: “Just out of curiosity, who is your biggest competitor?” Most will answer, “In my space, it is ‘X’.” They will name a specific company. Yet, every once in a while, one person will answer “It’s me, Scott, my greatest competitor is the person I have to look at in the mirror.” To that person, I give a knowing nod and smile.

Look Deep Within

It is Bill Gates who is famous for saying “I am not in competition with anyone but myself. My goal is to improve myself continuously.” He is right.

Sales, as we should know, is not a business skill, but a way of life. In effective selling I believe we must overcome objections to ourselves first, and then to our family, friends, prospects and ultimately, customers. I first learned this valuable lesson in the most unlikely of places, the hospital, after a life-changing diagnosis and in front of the toughest customer I would ever face — myself. After an accident I went from being an athlete to a quadriplegic. I learned to see myself in wellness and not as a disabled person; to not pity myself when I measured progress in quarter inches, not feet; and to overcome negativity and the hundreds of excuses I could have made for myself. I had a choice to overcome objections or give into them.

It was during my recovery that I took a sales position in the financial and insurance industry and within five years I became a member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

Don’t Invite Me to the Pity Party

In life, there are always people who will say, “I wouldn’t blame you if –” (you gave up, or quit this job, went into another field, or moved away). These are often the same types who will convince themselves that the competition is too much, or the product or service your team is selling is inadequate.

I first encountered this attitude in rehab.

They would wrap their pity in comments telling me they never thought I could have come “this far,” or to accept what couldn’t be changed. I chose not to listen. I knew there were still improvements I could make to my health challenge and to not accept that I had done all that I could. I was learning important lessons of overcoming sales objections.

Just as a lawyer never asks a court witness a question they can’t already answer, as a sales person there should be no opposition to a sale you can’t answer. In fact, before going into any presentation know exactly how you will respond to an objection.

If you don’t know information on the customer before you call on them, chances are the sale is lost before you make it. When I was in rehab, I could have defined myself as someone with a terrible back injury. Instead, I studied everything about my injury, I asked a thousand questions and I was determined to understand that no two injuries are identical. It gave me a well-spring of optimism and a commitment to always do my best. I didn’t know how far I could go; I only knew that in terms of my own life or in selling against competitors, I could do more than accept a situation; I could overcome the challenge in front of me. Of course, I learned a sense of acceptance, but the acceptance was never based on pity. If I had a bad day in rehab or lost a sale, I knew the next day would be better. It always was.

Truth is, I have had more good days than bad. I faced down the toughest competitor I ever had and sold him on the future.

 

Contact Scott Burrows, Keynote Speaker on Overcoming Objections for Sales Teams through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

Are You Determined to Change When There is No Choice?

Business change and personal development are subjects that deeply resonate with me. When I speak to associations and corporations undergoing business change, I understand how tough it can be.

When organizations change in response to a new reporting structure, acquisitions, mergers or implementing new software or accounting systems, it isn’t the business change that bothers most employees but fears over how it will affect their job, status and comfort zones. Before speaking to groups about organizational change, I’ve overheard, “I’m not going change for them, I want my freedom.”

Change comes to all of us, and most of us are powerless when it happens. Before quadriplegia, I was a Division I football player and a martial artist. After my injury I had no choice but to transform myself in response to my injuries. I was determined to take responsibility for my circumstance.

Sigmund Freud

It was the great Dr. Freud who hit the nail of business change right on the head:

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened by responsibility.”

We can sit in our offices (or hospital beds) and fume or we can realize that no one is responsible for our success but ourselves. Whatever issues that led to the changes in your organization are over. What remains is whether you have the determination to embrace the business change and adjust your vision to be successful.

Psychology Today magazine, in their article “4 Steps to Stop Blaming,” advises us to have the intention to stop blaming, to make a determined effort to become more mindful of blaming, and most important if you can’t blame someone or something in this case for the business change, what would you need to feel? In other words, what is your vision for how you’re going to handle the change?

If your business has been acquired, or if a portion of the business has been outsourced, or if a new product line has been brought into your department, what is your plan for success and how will you develop the tenacity to overcome the challenges?

Business Change Can Be a Good Thing

To those determined to change when there is no choice, change can be positive and transforming. Inc. magazine wrote about how employees who embrace business change can transform companies. Their piece “Why Change Is Essential to Your Organization (And How to Embrace It)” stated:

“The most successful companies are built on a desire to bring forth positive changes in the world. This kind of mission attracts smart, autonomous, creative people who can help you [the CEO] solve tough challenges in an innovative way. On top of that, it requires leaders who are catalysts for change throughout the organization.”

You can be a be a positive force for change in your organization with the determination to overcome the adversity of business change.

My mission to be the best possible business change keynote speaker has been strengthened by my own journey. In having no choice but to change, I have developed the vision to help others make positive changes for their organizations.

To book Scott Burrows, Business Change Inspirational Keynote and Breakout Speaker contact Scott through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169

 

“Does Our Industry Need Meetings Anymore?”

 

As a keynote speaker who works extensively with meeting planners and companies in the incentive industry, I know all too well about doom and gloom forecasts when it comes to industry meetings.

These are uncertain times for trade shows and the exhibition industry, and with it, meeting planners and incentive executives are often confused as to how to project into the future.

In March 2017, David McMillin in writing for the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) fired a warning shot that too many took to heart without reading the entire article:

“All good things must come to an end. After 25 consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth for the exhibition industry, the economists at the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) received the first dose of negative news with a 0.4-percent decline…” However, McMillin continued that there was “plenty of upside depending on how international trade and modernization of the industry would unfold in 2018.” Turns out, he was right.

In March 2019, the CEIR “Total Index” showed a strong 2018 rebound:

“The growth of the [meetings] industry, as measured by the CEIR Total Index, accelerated from a year-over-year gain of 0.9 percent in the third quarter to 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.”

CEIR Economist Dr. Allen Shaw, stated: “The performance during the fourth quarter shows the resilience of the exhibition industry despite uncertainties surrounding the trade negotiation with China, volatile stock markets and slowing world economic growth.”

Shaw pointed out that while there have been huge gains in the Food, Government, and Raw Materials and Science sectors, on the other hand Consumer Goods and Retail Trade, Financial, Legal, Real Estate, and Transportation have not fared as well.

As an experienced meeting planner, you understand that while the economy may change, to eliminate meetings is the wrong approach to solving an industry’s problems. In fact, the reverse may be true.

Don’t Give in to Negativity

Doomsayers are more than willing to tell meeting planners that the “trade show is dead.” They point to the power of the internet, the new media, meeting software platforms, remote workers and co-working strategies as signaling the end to meetings.

Are these critics handcuffed by a lack of vision and the determination to be successful? I think so and many meeting professionals agree with me.

Mark Goren, an expert on trade show trends, wrote (August 2018): “What will the future of trade shows look like? Think experience meets relationship-building, or essentially, engagement marketing…where consumers are invited and encouraged to participate and actively engage with a brand through an experience. When it’s cleverly employed at trade shows, engagement marketing creates powerful, one-on-one connections…”

Maura Keller, writing for Association Conventions & Facilities said, “Creating a connection with the audience is paramount, and incorporating interactive elements within trade show design is key. Not surprising, interactivity within an exhibit booth is important to create a face-to-face connection and memorable experience for show attendees.”

Despite the doubters, in this digitized era meeting attendees crave real connection and relationships. The technology may be shifting but the need to engage with your audience, whether one-on-one, or one-to-one-thousand, has never been greater.

Negativity is crippling, but the determination and vision to overcome adversity will yield unbelievable results.

Book Scott Burrows, Keynote Speaker for the Meeting Planning and Incentive Industries, through this website or call us at: (520) 548-1169