3 Keys to Running a Successful Exhibition
There are several keys to running a successful exhibition. More than likely you have done several events such as this by now and have had one of two reactions. Either you have been quite pleased at your results or you are scratching your head and wondering why it doesn’t seem to be working. If you are the former, these basic tenets should still enable you to increase the productivity of your exhibitions. If you are the latter, the time has come to start seeing some serious results.
First and foremost, high energy is important. In your typical exhibition setting, you will be dealing with an audience that is not overly familiar with martial arts. This being the case, they may not be impressed with difficult but low energy forms as other martial artists would be. The higher the energy, the more people will be engaged. Think of ways to add plenty of movement to each form. In addition, breaking, if possible, is always sure to turn heads in an exhibition.
Secondly, and most often overlooked, is brevity. There is no need to take 30 minutes to do what you could have done in 15 minutes. People appreciate succinct, to the point events. You have the opportunity to grab people’s attention quickly, let your exhibition do the talking for you, and exit quickly. Then afterwards, if they have questions, you will be there to answer them. One of the oldest axioms we have all heard, “Leave them wanting more.” ”Do not put so much emphasis on squeezing as much into your exhibition as you can that you lose sight of the real purpose, which is enrolling new students.”
Third, and lastly, is audience participation. This should typically be saved until at least half-way through your exhibition. Even the most diligent of audiences can lose focus on anything. It is the curse of the short attention span. At the very moment you feel you may have started to lose the crowd, pull an audience member up into your exhibition. Make it a point to work a few forms in that will really engage the members of your audience. In this way you will give people a sense of connection not only to you but to the martial arts.
All of these are fantastic ways to either improve the already successful exhibitions you have or take your seemingly futile exhibitions and turn them into great tools for advancing your enrollment at your school. Feel free to go over these ideas with your staff and students to really begin putting together a top class exhibition that will enable your school to reach the goals you have set. If you would like more strategies on getting audience members to enroll for trial lessons, contact your AMS business development consultant at 1-800-275-1600 to gain access to a treasure trove of marketing materials and advice.