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I've got 14 hours before getting on the road for a 6 hour road trip for a tradeshow. I haven't begun to pack yet, but am still screwing around with some of the test data and getting all the last minutes updates posted. It's going to be a long weekend.
I wouldn't want to be in a booth but I don't mind walking around and checking them out.
You know you've sort of made it when someone sees your name tag and won't let you see their stuff.
-edit- what I meant by that was I was with a start-up once with only a few customers and this one (rather big) company had heard enough about us to consider us competitors and they wouldn't let me in their booth. It was rather inspiring at the time.
You can hire one of our motivational trainers if you have such a hard time. They will motivate you to go to your tradeshow in no time. And you will like it. You can choose between several different trainers, depending on which kind of motivation works best for you:
1) Sanctimonious moralizing priest (almost obsolete nowadays)
2) Drill sergeant, 20 years experience. The classic.
3) Nagging wife, screaming kids cost extra.
4) Nervous boss. Does not know what she wants, but wants to have it right now.
5) Bossy boss. A perfect micromanager and remotecontroller.
If you already have some of these at home: They are amateurs, not the kind of professionals we will send you.
I have lived with several Zen masters - all of them were cats.
His last invention was an evil Lasagna. It didn't kill anyone, and it actually tasted pretty good.
Been too busy to respond but finally back home. Part of the problem (lack of motivation) is traveling with my business partner of almost 20 years who is somewhat ditzy and tends to complicate everything. (nothing is ever easy) Example:
It never fails that wherever we are, she needs to go shopping. After getting the booth setup and checking into the hotel, she predictably announces that she needs clothes for the next day and that we can get dinner on the way back. Since I needed black socks (the wife keeps stealing mine!) I agreed, but it needs to be quick as I still need to configure the laptops...4 hours later and I'm too tired to deal with it.
All in all, it was a really good show for us...showing old customers new products, getting a half-dozen new contacts and securing a presentation for a state directors meeting next year.
I feel sorry for you.
I've spent more than enough time on the booth at trade shows to know that I never want to do it again.
Recommendations: Good comfy shoes - not new ones, you'll have blisters in hours and trench foot by the end of day 2.
Expense account. It is possible to empty a hotel of good quality red wine. I've done it.
Take a lunch - if you ask nicely, the hotel may provide - and keep it in the back of the stand where you can grab a sandwich or similar quickly to fuel up between visitors. Much simpler that trying to eat the venue food, because everyone will be queueing for that at the same time (and it's normally crap anyway). No beer until the show closes, but coffee is a good idea.
Make quick notes as soon as a visitor leaves - you won't remember what they were interested in when you get back to the office, particularly if your stand is busy.
Get contact info back to the office ASAP: if you can have relevant info on their desk when they next get back to it, it reminds them who you are, and makes the chances of a follow up interest much higher.
Eat a big breakfast: you use a surprising amount of energy standing around!
Good luck - and enjoy yourself as much as you can (you have my sympathy)
Sent from my Amstrad PC 1640 Never throw anything away, Griff
Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...
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By the middle of the first (and longest) day of the show, my heels were getting raw. After a couple of hours I resorted to stuffing a cardboard coffee cup holder into my socks...currently with band-aids on both heels.
It was a half-day show yesterday, then packing up and driving 6 hours back home. Now spending the day (Sunday) tweaking a new product based on customer feedback. My business partner stayed behind to visit family and will be spending the next week travelling between customers to get them setup and working with it. The fun never ends!
I did pre-sales a while back. Loved the job, helping customers, new product development. *Despised* the trade shows. Totally useless marketing expense, but if we did not show, our customers worried. The only thing worse than a trade show? Taking down the booth. What a complete waste of engineering time.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759