Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tradeshow booth

After having spent more than 20 “Business Days” in a year (almost a business month to be precise) manning tradeshow booths, now I have become a self-proclaimed expert at Tradeshow Booth Management (TBM). Before I start charging you guys for opening my mouth, I thought I give you all a free preview of what to expect (after all, you guys are my loyal audience!).

So what exactly is a Tradeshow?

Officially – Tradeshows are events to put the customers and suppliers in the same location so that meaningful conversations evolve naturally and you have a better prospect at forming business relationships. I know, I just made that up – but well – that is the spirit of a Tradeshow anyway.

Unofficially – It’s an event where bargain hunters and senior people with lots of free time on their hand come looking for well-made goodies and free gifts to collect from all the booths out there and eat good food. Rest of the time, try to catch up on some winks here and there in the conferences or pretend to be working hard while checking your Facebook. If nothing else, then it’s a place to court your potential employers and look for industry connections who can introduce you to those.

Now for some background. Presently I sorta earn my living by telling people how great is analytics and how everything will change the moment they start analysing stuff in their organization. I am mighty impressed by what I sell and most of the times, I do sound and am completely genuine. But, I am not pretty, handsome, attractive or anything that can make someone stop and notice me. Mediocre at best and with a smile that can even cause me problems at the remotest of places, I do not exactly qualify as a “booth” candidate.

Though my company invests in attractive goodies and we have a brightly colored (read tempting) goodie bag I only encounter goodie-bag seeking tradeshow delegates approaching me. The true “potential” customers either shy away or are too busy in pretending they are busy and not interested. So all day (and sometimes all night) I stand there waiting for the perfect customers to come, only to give away goodie bags to cheapskates.

Here is my advise to companies buying booths in Tradeshows:

  1. Don’t waste your money and your employee’s time. You might as well treat them to a spa. At least they will be happy
  2. If you still plan to waste your money, then put a good looking (read – beautiful or handsome) employee who will attract hoards of people by their killer looks
  3. Prominently display your goodies, but have a strict policy on giving it to only those people who are ready to listen to your boring 20 minute Powerpoint presentation on how amazing your product and your company is. The goodies should be “earned” not given away!

And why am I writing this? I just spent an entire day grinning into the void and listening to an irritating jingle coming from a booth next to me. Now I can’t freaking get the tune outta my mind. To top it all, my legs and back hurts because of standing in a suite for 10 hours doing absolutely nothing.

1 comment:

  1. guess who drop by your trade booth and guess again how i found your trade booth... Long story on how i found your booth....
    Hint... the truth will be revealed on Tuesday...