Be the best

Industry Expansion Initiative (IEI) founder and Mash Media MD Julian Agostini on working hard to play hard.

Writing this at the end of the first round of World Cup matches, there have been some standout performances. The likes of Neymar, Messi and Pirlo stood head and shoulders above the array of talented individuals on display. Yes, they are among the most naturally gifted, but they are also the ones who work hardest in training, and believe they still have something to learn.

Cristiano Ronaldo is another renowned for his work ethic – being the first player at training and last to leave, working tirelessly on his technique. No wonder he is arguably the best player on the planet.

Ronaldo wins trophies on a regular basis, and even finds time to feature naked on the cover of Vogue with his model girlfriend. It’s fair to say he has a huge ego, and why not? That’s all part of being a world-beating footballer. Even though these star players are top of their game, they constantly strive for more – they want to learn, improve and be even better. They never believe their own hype.

It is easy to get carried away with your success, and the moment you think you know it all, you are sure to stagnate. That is a mantra any organiser should be drumming into their exhibitors and visitors. We encourage people to attend our events because they are places for people to develop and improve.

But what about the organisers? Where do they go to school?

In its heyday, the AEO Conference was a two-day affair, but now it is little more than three hours (including coffee break) and acts as an aperitif to the association’s awards ceremony.

In contrast to the stars of Brazil 2014, take a look at Wayne Rooney. Eight years ago, and playing in the same dominant Manchester United team as Ronaldo, the two players were pretty much on a par. Ronaldo went on to win the Ballon d’Or, a move to Real Madrid and become the world’s best player, scoring goals for fun. Compare that with Rooney, and wonder if attitude, application and ambition had anything to do with how those two talents have prospered.

Which brings me around to the UK exhibition industry – again the best in the world, depending on who you listen to, and packed with superstars with egos to match. There is also that same desire to improve their performance, to learn and hone new skills, but where can they do that? Where do the best go to get better? To improve and continue to blaze a trail, we need to constantly improve and show a willingness and open-minded attitude to new ideas. That is why we need a proper conference, not some short-measure shoe-in.

The IEI is supported by the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Perton Signs, N200, Moyne Exhibitions, Earls Court and Olympia Venues, Compass Group, ASP and Peterborough Arena. If you’d like to know more about the IEI or want to support it, please email: Julian Agostini

This was first published in the July issue of Exhibition News. Any comments? Email Annie Byrne