Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone | Travel Research Online


Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Today’s message is based on a true story. It contains an important reminder for all of you.

A particular industry conference was on my calendar for over a month. I knew as a professional speaker that good things result from my wandering trade show aisles. This alone serves as a walking example that “Marchev is alive and well.” I was not planning to attend this show as a conference speaker. I was a paid attendee. This was a few years ago and the conference was conducted by a large Association. 

For those of you who know me, you can appreciate that one of my favorite reminders involves “visibility.” Getting out where the action is happens to be one of my favorite, dog-eared reminders. Hence, I was practicing what I preached and heading to the Trade Show Floor on this Friday afternoon. Until…my computer crashed.

Very few things other than a surly United States Postal Clerk manage to hit my hot-button as effectively as a “funky” computer. (Now you know. Even I have a dark side.) As noon approached on this particular Friday I made the conscious decision to stay back at the fort to “fix” my bag of bolts.

And that is when it hit me. As if I entered a scene from Ron Serling’s Twilight Zone, I heard me talking to me. “Hey Bub! What possible good, as it relates to your eating habits, can lying under your computer desk casting dispersions at no one in particular do for you. Doesn’t positioning yourself down on a bustling trade show floor make more sense?”

I needed to fix my computer. But, I knew the right answer. I showered. I dressed. I drove. I entered the exhibit area. I walked. I talked. I smiled.

I won’t bore you with the specifics, but as soon as I turned corner #1 it began to happen. I bumped into former clients asking if I would contact them. Friends from past seminars stopped to chat and pump my ego. Cruise line contacts acknowledged my presence and were reminded that “Marchev” is still available when the need surfaces. Magazine editors asked that I contact them. It was as if a chain reaction of positive vibes kicked-in as soon as my feet hit the carpet.

I could feel the smile, the bounce in my step, the positive energy flowing through me knowing that I was exactly where I was suppose to be on that particular Friday afternoon. I was working. I was marketing. I was having FUN. My computer could wait.

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And why you may ask am I sharing this epiphany with you? As some sleuth from London once said, “Elementary, my dear Watson.”

Ever since I entered the game of business in 1973, I have an unblemished track record of achieving good and positive results every single time I attend a trade show, conference, or large-group gathering.

My decision to get out of the office has never failed me. I attend. I watch. I listen. I think. I grow. I establish new contacts. I rekindle old contacts. I become energized. I benefit. My family benefits. Never. Not once. Has this failed to be the case.

On that Friday afternoon I made the initial decision NOT to attend the conference. As smart as I profess to be, I almost made the mistake. I would not have realized it at the time, but this would have proved to be an enormous error in judgment. As long as you don’t walk around with a bag on your head, good things come from these events. Lots of good things.

It was Louis Pasteur who reminded us that “Chance Favors The Prepared Mind.” It was an NFL football player (Merlin Olsen) who said, “If I am not practicing and my competition is, when we meet, they will beat me.” It was Mike Marchev who said, “Go to industry tradeshows. You will be glad you did.”

Mike Marchev

Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at

Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.

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