Getting up and going to work everyday at the office can be a real drag. Sometimes there is not much to look forward to when everything becomes so routine, but when that time of year comes around when you get to travel to the most popular trade show in the industry, things start to look up. The best trade shows are fun because all of all of the friendly competition that occurs between vendors and the displays that they come up with to attract visitors. It is easy to tell the companies who have not been to the show before from the ones who have because the disparity between the quality of their respective trade show displays is often painfully apparent.
You remember the first time that your company decided to attend a trade show when all you had for a display was a bunch of business cards, a couple of standing retractable banners and a table spread with your company logos on them. It didn’t keep you from doing your job but you sure felt like it would have been a lot easier to attract the attention of people passing by if you had a better display. When you had time to walk around the trade show and look at all of the other displays it was easy to understand why some company representatives were more successful at getting people to come to their booth than you were. There were of course other companies who were in the same boat and you imagined that they felt as inferior about the trade show booths they were sitting in front of as you did.
You took your cell phone out and took some pictures of some other displays at the trade show that clearly must have cost a lot more than the banners and table spread that you were provided. You knew that if management decided to send you back the next year that you would need to provide proof of how under-matched you were the previous year so you could convince them to hire a professional to design and construct a trade show booth that would do the company the proper justice. You were grateful by the end of the show that you were able to make some valuable contacts, but it was clear to you how much better you would have been able to perform on behalf of the company if you had better tools at your disposal by having a professional display to be proud of.
My how things have changed in the years since. Now, you have one of the best displays at the trade show and it is obvious how much easier it is to attract visitors and have conversations with people as a result. You remember how you used to feel almost desperate to make eye contact with someone who was walking by so you could try to get their attention, like those sad people working for commission at mall kiosks. Those days are in the past now and you are so grateful that your boss was receptive to your suggestions and took your advice. The second year your company went with an affordable standing cardboard display with some great graphics and proper lighting and the next year you even took it further with an aluminum frame display and furniture.
Your boss now likes to come with you to the trade shows to participate in the festivities and see what the competition is up to. There will always be competition between your company and its competitors for business but the competition for the best trade show exhibit is one that he and you particularly enjoy. It is fun to go out to dinner and discuss business with prospective clients and even the competition during the week. But, when it is all over it is back to the grind where all you can think about is next year’s trade show when you get to playfully talk trash to the other companies that you compete with while working hard to make as many business connections as possible.
Things are a lot busier than they used to be and you have to think that it has a lot to do with the relationships that you were able to forge over the years at the trade show. There are always friendly and familiar faces that you see when you go but there are new faces as well that you work hard to familiarize yourself with so you can help make your company more successful. You are grateful to have work for a company who sees the value in having a great trade show exhibit so for at least a few days out of the year you can have fun at work.