In over 20 year’s of working on trade shows and events I’ve never once driven away without a feeling of hollow emptiness. You might think I’m being a little dramatic, but seriously I’ve never left a show without thinking ”Man I wish it was 4 days ago and we were just starting again.” Strange thing is, I only recognised recently that Post-Show Blues is a ‘thing’, and realised I’m not the only one suffering! Looking back now, have you ever noticed it lurking at the back of your brain on your first day back in the office?

It makes perfect sense – it’s the same with a wedding, or dream holiday, or even Christmas dinner – you put all your love, time, effort, money and energy into planning this big beast for weeks, if not months and then suddenly it’s all gone in a split second. Your world might completely change after a show, but everyone else’s just carries on the same, leaving you slightly adrift. Some call it Post-Adrenalin Blues, some Post-Project Depression – but whether you’re a musician coming off a tour, an Olympian on the plane home, an actor at the Oscars after-party or an exhibitor packing boxes, it’s perfectly normal to feel down after a huge burst of effort and focus comes to an end.

No doubt in the lead-in to a show you’ve experienced stress, pressure, frustration, enjoyment and laughter. Especially if delivering a trade show is just part of your job, you’ve probably worked more hours, had less fun and eaten badly trying to juggle everything as show day approaches. Then there’s the anxiety of the build-up, wondering if visitors will actually come and the relief when you score your first hot prospect! Yet before you know it, the tannoy announces the show is now closed and everyone’s ripping down graphics and saying goodbye – so what now! You might be moving onto the next show, but that’s not THIS show, with the funny but helpful man on security, the private ‘in-joke’ about potatoes and that night when Sandra fell in the bushes – none of that will happen again!

So, how can you face the end of an era (albeit a short one) and move forward with optimism, confidence and a renewed sense of vigour?

  • Rest – you’re going to be shattered, not just from days on your feet but weeks / months of a fizzing brain – book a spa, play golf, read a book – do something for a couple of days that enables you to clear your brain and re-energise
  • Reward – you’ve had a great show – even if everything wasn’t perfect, you did it and no doubt your business is in a better position now than before the show – even if that’s only been learning what to do differently next time so reward yourself with a treat!
  • Re-Order – execute the follow up plan, ship the kit back to base, get feedback from your squad, do your evaluation – make sure that all those outstanding bits of admin are are done as soon after the show as possible
  • Reflect – what did you learn during the show that will make the next one better? How are you now a more valuable asset to your business? How will you use the show to demonstrate your contribution to your company’s sales? And write down your answers so you don’t forget!
  • Re-Connect – might you have neglected your friends, family and partners just a tiny bit in the stress and hours running up to a show? Maybe now’s the time to take them for a beer, meal, theatre and spend some quality time together!
  • Routine – as soon as you can, get back into the routine of the day job, pick up the gym classes again, read a daily newspaper – let life get back to normal whilst you incorporate how you make it bigger and better next time!
  • Recognise – that what you’re feeling is perfectly normal and Roll with it!

Sounds easy in 8 easy little words doesn’t it but the last point is probably the most important – it is normal, it happens to us all and it does subside!

And if you need a little more inspiration… I’m just going to leave this here!

If you’re struggling with the stress of organising your trade show why not give us a call on 07891 122542 and we can share the load – and the coffee and cakes are on us to help fight your post-show blues!

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