Blogger: Barry Siskind, Author of Powerful Exhibit Marketing
In reality, the search for answers often opens the doors to more questions. Answers are often regarded as the panacea to management challenges, but, I suggest a change of focus on uncovering questions is of more value.
Answers are helpful in the short term. They are valid for a very narrowly defined set of circumstances. The problem with answers is that they often trigger more questions. It’s as if answers themselves are like rocks dropped into a still body of water and the ripples created are the endless questions that arise.
Asking questions and encouraging staff to do the same are, in my opinion, what differentiates great leaders from the mediocre. Any one can ask “why,” but the astute executive is constantly wrestling with the “when,” “how,” and “what” of a business activity.
I mention this because at our recent 82nd Congress in Milan participants were left with many questions worth consideration. The opening and closing keynotes are great examples of this.
The conference began when Professor Vito do Bari, an innovation designer and futurist, told the audience what he predicted the face of the exhibition industry will look like in 2030. With the help of a great video he revealed how technology has the ability of personalizing an exhibition to the individual visitor’s needs to help them plan and execute a more productive visit. The closing keynote was Andrew Keen, author of, “The internet is not the answer.” Keen’s message was that participants should move slowly into the technological revolution which as he said was in its infancy; two opposite points of view that open the conversation to questions about which approach is best.
Participants also heard both sides of the equation as they attended the various Special Interest Groups, regional meetings, Jochen Witt’s state of the industry and the panel discussions.
I believe the 82nd Congress opened the doors to more questions than answers and if that’s the case, I think was a roaring success.