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When You Make a Mistake It Might be Best to Lean into It

We had a client come to us with a problem around a booth and trade show, and we seemed to make their problem even bigger. The client wanted the ability to easily attach large labels with phrases on them to a booth. Literally throw them up there so an attendee could step in and have their picture taken and the label would look like a thought bubble. We ordered a pop up booth with vinyl, made some recommendations, tested different sticky adhesives but seemed not to satisfy the goal they needed We were thinking that we'd use gum-drop stickies on the labels so they'd stick to the surface of the vinyl. They didn't want to use pins or things that would damage the booth. And they didn't like the old-style carpet type of booth which would work easily with velcro. The day the booth was to actually arrive we realized our CSR ordered the wrong type of booth. She ordered a sleeve or pillow -case type booth that you pulled over the frame. We were days from the trade show so had to improvise. We tested different stickiness ideas again and I could see on our clients' faces they were not happy. The thought-bubbles I pictured above their heads were "idiots," "why'd we come here?" "now what?" and so on. I told them we'd fix it, at our cost, even if we had to express ship a new booth to the conference. I told them to come back the next day and we'd have a solution for sticking the labels to a booth. Three of us stood around the fabric booth and were trying to figure out if we could salvage this, as we pressed different adhesives and sticky drops to the fabric to no avail. Then someone said, "magnets." "Let's magnetize the booth and make the labels out of magnet material!" Great idea but the fabric won't magnetize. We ordered a giant magnet sheet and made it easy to bungee to the frame (see image below) IMG-5757   The fabric, pillow-case draped over it and was the better solution for what they wanted at the end of the day. They could literally throw the thought bubble labels on the booth and they would stick. By pursuing the mistake we took a risk but ultimately it paid off. You can see the expressions of our clients in the picture with the booth set up. IMG-5759 (2) Those are good "though bubbles" coming from them now. It has generated other ideas as well. As a back-drop for video conferences, the message can change daily. You could have a backdrop that is a giant game board to bring the offline and online worlds together in a video conference call.   Mistakes happen. Many inventions have been created by mistake. Many meetings have ventured into a new focus when a mistaken comment has occurred. Don't be fearful of making a mistake. You will blunder and upset others. No doubt stir authority. Especially in today's environment where we are all learning new processes of working together, communicating differently (how many Zoom meetings have you been on) and the like. A mistake will happen and something can come from it. Look at it and do something with it.

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