What Annoys Me About Trade Shows
Recently, I had the good fortune to attend HP Discover 2013 in Las Vegas, NV. Overall, it was a really good show, at which I learned some really cool new things about HP, as well as new ways of performing the routine stuff.
However, there are some things that really irk me about attending a trade show. This post in no way is directed at Hewlett Packard, but at trade shows in general. These are simple things that are present at just about every convention, and really shouldn't be.
The StopperWhen you are walking with the mob in the main corridor, and the person or persons in front of you come to a stop. They might be stopping to take a call, check email, answer text messages, or are just plain lost. The section around the stopper becomes blocked, as the rest of the river of humanity attempts to navigate around the unexpected blockage. Donít be the stopper: if you feel the need to stop, work your way to the side. Take a break out of the way of the rest of us who have places to go. Think about it this way: if you are driving down the freeway and get a phone call, you wouldnít slam on your brakes and come to a halt, would you? No you wouldnít.
Mr. MonotoneIf you have been selected to be a public speaker, practice by recording yourself. Listen to the recording. If you put yourself to sleep with the sound of your own droning, you may want to be a bit more animated in your presentation, because your audience wonít be getting the benefit of the great information you are trying to express if they canít hear over the snores. Mr. Monotone is especially dangerous after lunch.
The BaristaThis is the guy that insists on turning the coffee table into his own personal laboratory, mixing all available ingredients to create that special brew that only he can make. Of course, the main location for his machinations is right in front of the lone coffee urn. He carries on creating his caffeinated masterpiece with no regard for the 20 poor souls waiting behind him. Donít be a Barista. We need our go-juice.
Gas Station FoodGoing to a trade show is almost like a mini-vacation. For 3-5 days, you donít have to deal with the constant annoyance of interruptions from the day-to-day grind. Most of the time, whoever is putting on the show will provide some edible chow that wonít turn your stomach into a knot of pain, or worse. Unfortunately, the trend lately is toward that of typical gas station food. Stale breakfast burritos that wither under a heat lamp, rock hard rolls, and a collection of questionable fruits. As attendees, we are not asking for filet mignon to be served for lunch; we would just like something edible, and wonít introduce the misery of the delayed reaction gut bomb that keeps us up at night.
The MazeI understand the need to corral your attendees in a particular direction, but intentional disorganization of the vendor booths is one of the more irritating things about attending a trade show. If I am looking for booth number 1578, I would think it would fall between booth 1577 and booth 1579. Unfortunately, this is not the case at some trade shows. Booth 1578 might be way up by booth 631, defying all logical number schemes. Instead, we waddle around like sheep, asking random people where the hell the booth is. Donít do this to your attendees. It wastes time and energy, as well as introducing frustration into what could otherwise be a great learning experience for the attendee, and a marketing opportunity for the sponsor.
So there you go, my short list of convention annoyances. What bugs you about trade shows? Got an experience to relay? Let it fly in the comments!
About the Author
dwirch has posted a total of 172 articles.
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