Sometimes you come to a crossroad in business. You reach a point where what you set out to achieve has been achieved, what you wanted to build has been built, what you wanted to create has been created; now the business needs to decide what to do next.
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So, what are the options?
One, you carry on doing what you’ve been doing, delivering what you’ve been delivering. It's working, it has been great for you, great for your customers and great for the cities that you operate in. Why try to reinvent the wheel, look for solutions for problems that don’t exist?
Two, pack up and go home? Mission accomplished, let’s all look at some new things to do. We still have the memories.
Three, look to do something bigger. Do more, take the experience and the values that you’ve created and maybe take them to a new and exciting space.
This is where we were last year. After much soul searching at CHS Group, we found ourselves at an
‘en passe’, so what to do? Option one? tempting but not really us, there is an ambition that sits within everyone at CHS Group, staying the same just didn’t feel right. Option two then? Never, this is really too much fun, no one in our business was ready to hang up their boots just yet, we’d only just got started. So, option three? Double down, look to do something bigger, more exciting and more fun for us? That sounded much more like us; yes, we went for option three.
So, having taken this monumental decision, the next (very pertinent) question was, what direction? To get to this we needed to go back to basics and the ethics of what makes CHS Group what it is, and who it has become. We did a lot of work on our values, collectively as people and as a brand, and what makes us feel different from other businesses out there. If we could understand that better, we were confident that the right way would present itself.
At CHS Group we’ve always been very proud of the way we do business. We try and fight for our customers, we like to be ‘of service’ to our exhibitors and our visitors, we’ve always tried to be open and honest in the way we do business, to act in an informal but professional manner. We’ve also tried to be humble and enthusiastic, willing to learn, willing to accept that we make mistakes, happy to put things right, always confident enough to share when we’re good and bad.
For us, it’s made for a very ‘special sauce’ combination. It means we have collaborative relationships with everyone, and it’s led to growth in our events, our businesses, and we like to think the businesses of our customers as well. For some people an event is a massive speed dating room, for others it’s a live marketplace that pleases both buyer and seller. We’ve always been a fan of the latter, and it’s held us in good stead.
It’s also made us look to do more things for the marketplace, to look at new ways to be of service to our customers, to create opportunities for them to grow their businesses. To even look at ways we can contribute to the growth of our industry as a whole. As we look towards our new and exciting future, its these values that are at the centre of what we do next.
So, now we have a plan, and there are some big things coming from CHS Group over the next two years. First of all, we’re going to do something for us, we’re going to give our CHS Group brand a bit of TLC and look to share with the industry what makes us good people to do business with. We’re then going to start looking at how we can give something back to the industry. Not just small things, but genuine forces of change, understanding some of the unique challenges that we face as an industry, as well as some of the very big ones we all face as people in the world.
Next we’re going to look at expanding; to new places and into new areas. But always within the remit of what has made us successful in the past. If we look after the people and businesses that have looked after us in the past, we shouldn’t go far wrong.
So, watch this space, CHS Group has decided to Go Big, not Go Home.