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Sometimes I wonder why businesses exhibit at tradeshows.

Let’s be brutally honest, if you have a tired and apathetic sales rep sitting on a seat and playing Angry Birds, you may as well shut up shop and head home. They are doing more damage to your brand then it’s worth. I’m sure there are some businesses out there that think a customer will wait for them to finish, apologise for disturbing them, and then hand over an order.

Then there are stands that are designed more like castles or prisons. Carefully placed furniture ensures that there is only the minimum of contact between the staff and attendees.

Or there is the bouncer technique – where staff stand on the border with the arms crossed, sizing up customers to make sure they were suitably attired.

Which is all a bit of a negative rant, and not why I wanted to write this post (but it’s good to get off my chest).

What I really wanted to talk about was Mission.

What is great about the Fine Food trade show is that it is filled with food and samples. There is no show like it in Australia (IMHO). What is even better is that I think there is a bit of an ego competition going on as to who has the best coffee.

Though the one person who really blew me away with her attitude was someone from the Mission stand. She was handing out samples to all the visitors, but every time an exhibitor (well, at least from my team) asked for one she would give us double. During a quieter moment I asked her why.

Her answer was “I know how hard it is to work all day at a show and how valuable breaks are. It’s just about making life easier for everyone.”

Now I have absolutely no idea what Mission’s mission statement is, or what Mission’s mission at the show was, but here’s someone that they should be putting in charge of their marketing.

This is someone who knows what is the most important thing in the world for any business – making life easier for another person.

This is someone who knows that a smile for a potential customer may be important, and realises that what is even better is actually being authentically nice.

And here I am, a year later (sorry, just going through my old photos), writing a post praising Mission.

So here is my question – what’s your trade show mission?