Find Your Internal Innovators

Do you have institutional methodology to find new revenue streams relevant to your audience?

I was reading the American Business Media e-newsletter when one of the headlines caught my eye: “Hearst’s Rich Malloch: 30% of HBM’s growth comes from products that didn’t exist three years ago. We’re launching a really exciting new product at the HIMSS conference in February here in Orlando.”

Obviously, here’s one company that knows the value of using a trade show for a big-time new product release (refreshing!).

However, let’s discuss the other part. The thirty percent. Almost one-third. That’s a lot of new revenue channels. That’s taking a whole lot of chances on new ideas. Being almost fearless.

Scary stuff, right? Maybe not. Maybe it’s the future lifeblood of your business.

How does your organization handle innovation? Does it run away, screaming, “No!”—or does it incubate it? Granted, most of us don’t have the huge resources of a publicly traded company or shows with 1,000-plus booths. Truthfully, we have limited time to do more with less.

But if we’re not carving out some time and, yes, attention and resources for new products, offerings and the like, or encouraging non-management staff to contribute their ideas (by the way, those would be the people on the front line with our exhibitors and visitors),where is new or replacement revenue going to be coming from?

Put a plan in place today for your organization to look for new revenue streams and try them out. Reward your team for good ideas even if they don’t work out. (A cheap dinner or lame plaque isn’t what I’m talking about either.) Embrace innovation. It could be the savior of your company and its events three years from now.

Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information, a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and a well-known speaker and trainer. Follow her on Twitter at @stephselesnick.

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Stephanie S. Selesnick is president of International Trade Information, a longtime global exhibition industry specialist helping U.S show organizers increase international participation in their exhibitions and a well-known speaker and trainer. Follow her on Twitter @stephselesnick.  ... View all articles by Stephanie Selesnick →