Having a Growth Versus Fixed Mindset in Trade Shows and Events

September 2, 2022

Rachel Wimberly

Rachel Wimberly is Executive Vice President of Business Development at Tarsus Group, US. Follow her on Twitter @TSNN_Rachel.

Our 9-year-old just started her 4th grade year, and in the welcome folder from her teacher there were a few sheets of paper that encouraged parents to help their children develop a ‘Growth Mindset’ verus a ‘Fixed Mindset’.

I know these terms have been around for a while, but reading through everything again, it struck me that the two mindsets are exactly what we should be considering when leading teams in the events industry.

We all know the past few years have been beyond challenging. We didn’t even know for a while if we would have a business to come back to with events completely shut down in the worst of times in the pandemic.

There was, and still is, a lot of fear around how our industry is going to continue forward in the face of inflation, a possible recession and events not only still getting back to live, but also regaining lost ground with attendees, exhibitors and revenues.

That fear, combined with the hard day in and out work of the events industry itself, could easily drive someone into thinking with a Fixed Mindset when a Growth Mindset is needed now more than ever.

Growth Mindset

According to one of our daughter’s papers, a Fixed Mindset does the following:

  • Avoids challenges
  • Gives up easily
  • Ignores feedback
  • Becomes threatened by other people’s success
  • Tries hard to appear as smart or as capable as possible

Any of the above could create dysfunction from a leader or within a team.



So, what does a Growth Mindset look like? A person with this mindset will:

  • Embrace challenges
  • Give their best effort
  • Learn from feedback
  • Become inspired by other people’s success
  • Be willing to learn more

For a student, it’s clear that having a Growth Mindset allows them to open their minds more to learn and excel in school, but the same attributes also could help someone be a productive and inspiring team member.

With our industry really still in the trenches and fighting its way out of a few very tough years, it’s more important than ever for leaders to consider what mindset they are in right now, as well as where each of their team members might be.

If there are 'Fixed Mindsets' in the mix, it’s time to make a change and help foster a different way of thinking, so that the entire team can succeed more effectively.


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