Article Written By Samantha Heyden

I was recently introduced to the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek. After watching the TEDTalks presentation by Simon, in which he explains his “Why theory” and how leaders can inspire action (TEDTalks – Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action), I purchased a copy of Start with Why on audio CD to find out more.

In his book, Simon outlines his “Golden Circle” theory:

Golden Circle 

To quickly summarise:

Every organisation in operation knows what they do.

Good organisations know how they do it.

Organisations that inspire others and influence their industries or even the world know Why they do what they do.

These inspirational organisations don’t stop there; they start with Why in everything they do and always start any communication with Why. Your Why should be communicated internally, externally in your marketing, promotions and recruitment – well everything you do, should start with Why.

If you start with Why you will find those people, whether they be clients, staff, suppliers or stakeholders that believe what you believe and you will in turn create loyalty and long term relationships.

So it is only logical to begin thinking how you would start with Why to inspire others on the trade show floor. Based on the common objectives outlined by many of our clients here are some ideas :


If your objective on the trade show floor is to increase brand recognition – Does your display communicate Why you do what you do? Or does it simply show how or what you do? If you can’t find the Why it might be time to review your design to increase your likelihood of inspiring trade show attendees and finding those that believe what you believe.


Communicate the Why of your organisation to target the potential recruits that are going to be the best fit for your company. You could also ask your employees Why they get out of bed every morning to come to work for you and share these stories in your booth via your displays, audio visual presentations and/or your booth staff.

Product Demonstration

Many exhibitors go to events to showcase or demonstrate product. This is a valid objective, but if your trade show booth is all What and no Why. Are you advertising your company and your products as commodities? If you are all What and no Why, think how you can better communicate your Why to inspire and lead on the trade show floor.

Educate and Inform

For those going to shows to educate, inform and communicate messages it makes sense to start with Why. Tell your audience what you believe, Why you began doing what you do and then the how and what that resulted from the Why. Inspire people to join your cause because they also can relate and believe in your Why.

Build Networks, Relationships & Alliances

The best relationships result from people coming together due to a common belief and/or outlook. Clearly communicate your Why to target and inspire those people that share your Why to start beneficial, loyal and long term relationships.

This article provides a quick overview of some of the ideas outlined by Simon Sinek in Start With Why. Simon provides much more information including real life examples of organisations and leaders that have inspired others by starting and clearly communicating their Why. If this article has inspired you to start with Why, please check out the Start with Why website and the TEDTalks presentation to find out more.

You can view this article and many more on the Skyline Blog.

About the Author: Samantha Heyden is the Manager for Marketing, Innovation & Process at Skyline Displays Australia and has worked with Skyline since 2002. She has been responsible for developing the marketing strategies, branding and event programs for Skyline throughout Australia. Working alongside the Skyline Displays Australia Project Management Team she has also been actively involved with assisting clients in meeting their event marketing objectives and return-on-investment with their Australian trade show displays. Sam believes that Trade Shows work and is passionate about working with clients to maximise their outcomes at every event they attend.

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