Planning, Startups, Stories


Tim Berry on business planning, starting and growing your business, and having a life in the meantime.

Don’t You Hate These Trade Show Tactics?

Imagine yourself standing at a trade show booth, attending to customers, offering information to potential customers, doing business. Your company paid thousands of dollars for the booth space, plus time and effort and shipping to get the booth and related materials there, set it up, and do your sales and marketing at the event.

Tradeshow

What you want, naturally, is customers to talk to. Everybody hates an empty trade show. Standing in an empty booth, waiting for somebody to show up in the empty aisles, is boring and bad for your feet. Standing in a busy booth, talking to the people you came to see, is
exhilarating. And exhausting as well, but when it’s a constant conversation with a lot of interested people all day, it’s great.

What you don’t want is to be standing in your own booth doing your own business and having people come up to you to sell you whatever it is that they are selling. What are people who do that thinking? Isn’t this worse than cold calling, in that you’re in a spot you can’t leave?

What’s the appropriate response?

And it gets worse. Some people, without booths, roam the trade shows like sharks, pigeonholing innocent trade show attendees as potential customers, acting as vendors without buying a booth, and most irritating of all, standing in or near the booths of their competitors. So are they smarter than the rest of us who have paid for the booths?

2 responses to “Don’t You Hate These Trade Show Tactics?”

  1. Sean Andreas says:

    I agree with the post, hence why I am currently undertaking a project called the boisetechmall.com Same feel as a trade show, none of the hassle. I would love anyone reading this to check out the project and send me your feedback or ideas. This is a work in progress and we are open to any insight people have. Our grand opening is scheduled for Oct 1st. We also have plans to open a portlandtechmall and a saltlaketechmall within the next 18 months.

    Thanks guys and good post
    sean@boisetechmall.com

  2. This is a good point, and something that conventions and convention centers should be concerned with. If customers who bought their space aren't feeling they received the best value for their money, they'll be able to crack down on soliciting vendors.

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