Exhibition News January 2018 - Page 49

COLUMN: JULIAN AGOSTINI Problems are our friends When bad things happen, it can be an opportunity to innovate, says Mash Media MD Julian Agostini N ew Year, and here’s to a happy and prosperous one for us all. Obviously we’d all like the new year to be more fruitful than the previous one. Stepping forward is a natural aspiration, although only a small percentage really fulfi l their ambitions, but that doesn’t mean disaster for everybody else. What we genuinely mean by happy new year is a life free of problems and dramas; that is utopia and unfortunately unrealistic. That sounds miserable and foreboding, but I’m not trying to bring the mood down on the new dawn, quite the reverse in fact. Real life doesn’t go smoothly, we all know that. The human race is disruptive; it’s one of our unique strengths. If everything is quiet and calm then you can guarantee that someone or something is waiting around the corner to turn it all upside down. What this creates is a rollercoaster ride; indeed the fact that humans have dreamed up, designed and built an actual rollercoaster ride for fun and thrills tells you all you need to know. The truth is we like it rough, although we pretend otherwise. Let me qualify that somewhat bold statement. We like adventure, thrive on being taken to the edge and surviving and with every generation, this manifests itself in a different way. When the world was fl at, the explorers made it a sphere. Then the pioneers tamed a wild, wild world. We then learned how to fl y, even to the moon (allegedly!). Industrial revolutions, phones, computers, internet, mobiles; we’re just never satisfi ed. It’s the fi rst lesson we learn at school, with the story of Adam and Eve. You have everything you want, the only thing you can’t touch is this apple, which then immediately becomes the only thing Eve wants. It is our nature, and the very thing that takes the world forwards. We all want the thing we can’t have, or to conquer the supposed impossible challenge. Skiing was created originally as a mode of transport, now the thrill seekers get dropped out of helicopters onto treacherous mountainous terrains, just for fun. “If an idea is going to change the world, there will be an exhibition in this space. Exhibition organisers are wonderful observers of the world at large. ” Flying was also created for transport, and now sky divers jump off mountain tops and glide to the ground in nothing but a plastic suit with webbed wings. Innovation and adventure of this nature creates opportunities for the business people following in behind. For all the creativity described above, there are millions of failed conquests and inventions. Exhibitions are a great refl ection of whether innovations are here to stay. If an idea is going to change the world, there will be an exhibition in this space, very quickly. No exhibition signals no long-term opportunity, and therefore no longevity, in the product or service. Exhibition organisers are wonderful observers of the world at large. The most adventurous in our community will be forever scouring the latest trends, thought processes and unusual developments. These will be then be refl ected in a new launch. Perhaps an even more interesting method of identifying markets and new communities is via crises. The old adage ‘crisis breeds invention’ provides a great recipe for show launches. This is because problems, disruptions and even disasters also help to take the world forward. Another human trait is problem solving; our performance improves dramatically in response to anything that disrupts our lifestyles. We react quickly and with intensity, desperate to restore our equilibrium. The deeper the problem the greater the opportunity to provide solutions, and thus the stronger the possibility of an exhibition launch. Simply put, innovative exhibition organisers understand this reaction to dealing with any issues that affect our world and, with equal alacrity, spring into the market with an event that discusses the key problems and provides a myriad of solutions via suppliers. There have been some great examples of shows launched to counter problems or disasters of all scale in recent years from the Back Pain and Allergy shows to Counter Terrorism and Flood Expo. Every cloud has a silver lining and all that... Of course, like everybody else, I would wish for a peaceful and trouble- free 2018, but if we can’t have that let’s embrace the problem, stay calm and launch more shows. Buon Anno exhibitionnews.co.uk | January 2018 49