[3 Tips] What to Do if an Event or Workshop Bombs Out [VIDEO]

So you’re excited about an upcoming show or event, have put in a ton of work to organize every detail, and have high expectations of success. Only to find you achieve little of what you’d aimed for.

Ever been disappointed in this way? Know this feeling?

Well, I do!

Recently we participated in The Business Show, where I delivered my workshop on How to  Accelerate Your Profits Combining Online and Offline Activities.

We also manned a stand for two days in the hopes of showcasing our incredible tools for helping small business owners and entrepreneurs to up their game and achieve the success they’ve been dreaming of.

In the 4.5-minute video below, I share what we learned from our experience at The Business Show and what we should have done better.

You Can’t Blame Someone (or Something) Else for Your Poor Results

Because we didn’t have as many people at my workshop or as many visitors to our stand as expected, I started to think we’d overpaid for the show; that we’d been sold the wrong thing by the organisers, who hadn’t delivered, and it was therefore their fault.

After some quick reflection, I realised the disappointing results were my fault.

Learn from our mistakes: some tips on getting a trade show right…


Tip #1 – Get the hook, or whatever you want to offer for free

This advice came from a friend who has lot of experience with this kind of show. You need hooks to attract people to your stand. We gave out free chocolates, which worked fairly well, but then we didn’t follow through with the visitor (see tip #2, about the necessity of a clear objective).

Whenever you expose your product or service in a highly competitive environment – whether online or at a trade show – it’s essential to give people something for free. We talk about this all the time at Tooliers, about giving value BEFORE you try to sell.


Tip #2 – Be VERY clear about your objective

Your objective should be focused and relevant to the context.

Our objective for attending The Business Show was to sell. Specifically, we wanted to attract five entrepreneurs who would work with us over one year. Why five? Well, we don’t want to work with just anyone; we want to work with the kinds of entrepreneurs who are committed to building a solid business. These people need to invest their time, focus and energy into working with us, and into developing their business.

We didn’t get those five entrepreneurs. Why?

There were plenty of people there who fulfilled our criteria, but our approach was off. And because people go to this kind of business show mostly to browse, not to buy.


The BIGGEST MISTAKE we made was to have an unrealistic – and unsuitable – objective.

On the upside, I discovered something invaluable for future events like this. I realised we should have focused on getting leads. Nothing but very qualified leads.

We made the mistake of trying to sell on the spot, which is exactly what we teach our clients NOT to do. Yep, we fell into the very trap we help our clients to avoid!

And that’s a good reminder to us to keep following the excellent principles we teach…


Tip #3 – Don’t look for a scapegoat

The fault lies within us, the leaders of our businesses. Start by asking what you learned from the experience and what you could have done better.

Once you’ve acknowledged your role in the fiasco, you can move on to identifying any weak points – in your team, with the organisers, and so on.

From this base, you can be constructive and look forward. You can make future decisions in similar situations armed with experience and knowledge… which means you’ll make better decisions.