Ten things we hate about trade shows - even Infosec

I missed CeBIT this year because I couldn't quite get my hair how I like it. So I cancelled the flight. And you know what, I don't think I missed anything. Why? Here's then reasons why you should never go to a trade show: 1. There's always some bird called Charlotte waiting to ambush you at the pres

986_30_Infosec-2009-Visitors-arrive-at-new-venue-Earls-Court.jpg

I missed CeBIT this year because I couldn't quite get my hair how I like it. So I cancelled the flight. And you know what, I don't think I missed anything. Why? Here's then reasons why you should never go to a trade show:

1. There's always some bird called Charlotte waiting to ambush you at the press office. If you agree to go and talk to her boring client, she will never return the favour.

2. Every stand has the same stuff. There's only so many boiled sweets or stress balls one can take home and feed to one's puppy

3. Every stand is made of aluminium and has razor sharp corners. If you catch your shoes on them, they get sliced to pieces.

4. Technology exhibitors only ever talk at you. They don't listen. You're more likely to have a fruitful conversation with an automated system.

5. You always meet someone in the pub afterwards who actually has an interesting story. But by then you're too drunk and demoralised to remember the details.

I can't be bothered with the other five things. Let's call it a day and go home.

Whoa, hang on, what's this? A company called EventGenie says its can take the pain out of IT exhibitions like Cebit, Infosec and Embedded World. (If they can make Embedded World fun, they can do anything)

OK, then, EventGenie, how are you going to make Infosuck any less than a hideous ordeal?

This was last published in March 2011

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Ouch. As exhibit designers we strive to create a great and unique atmosphere in our clients trade show booths. This is a good reminder to push the envelope and focus on the booth visitors experience. Thanks for venting. :)
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I love juried craft shows. Everything's been tested. Only two or three of the best are allowed in. Canned spiels are kept to a minimum.... But, alas, there's no such thing at tech shows where any company that can afford the exhibitor's fee is allowed to pitch right in.

There are only so many RAID arrays I can enjoy, so many cables I can admire, so many racks of this or that I care about. And with all those exhibitors, the show floor is prohibitively vast, impossible to transverse with human legs, improbable to find what's really important to me or my readers. And no, despite good intentions, two hundred emails - COME TALK TO OUR CTO ABOUT OUR AMAZING, INNOVATIVE WHATNOT - doesn't help me or my readers at all.

A good show is not the biggest possible amalgamation of everything.
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For me it's the hard sell.  I can do some company research on line before hand. If I have a handful of questions, that's all I want an answer for.A lot of time I just want a little more info for issues I could not find on line. I do not want to get tied up for 45 minutes listen to a sales pitch.
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