Wait…When? Dog Days of Summer- Get Ready for Fall Shows NOW!

Catch! There is a show out there!

Yes, this summer has been quite hectic for this gypsy with my physical move to the land of the lizards, but I do love it out here. The mayhem of the move is over and this gypsy is ready to gear up for the fall show season. Right now this very second, if you have not filled in all of your show kits…get on it! Don’t miss those early-bird rates! For some of the early fall shows those dates have expired and you will be paying more, but get in there and get that part done!Registrations are the same way for staff that is “thinking” about attending this or that show, get your justification in and make sure to include the fact that if you sign up at the early bird rates you will be saving $$.

Hotel rates for shows, get the show hotels and save the rental car!  The way shows are going now, organizers are being held to the penny with hotel room allocations.  With the squeeze going down the line, the organizers are limiting their room commitments, so don’t miss out on a great rate and the convenience of being co-located or close to the show.  Nothing like a great hotel and great rate that sometimes extends a few days prior or after the show should you have more business or want to add in some R&R time.  (My favorite hotel in the world is the W in San Francisco).

Working with engineering and product planning teams should be going on as well to find out what level of campaign will be taking place in the fall. Find out if there are other opportunities at the events that offer speaking opportunities or involvement of internal PR groups. Start sending out tidbits and help to generate show BUZZ. Nothing like engaged exhibit companies to create a buzz for a show; that is what makes a show successful and generates attendee participation.

Social media is a great platform, but people still have to READ and SEE your post, so nothing works like a personal viral type of promotion with personal recommendations or invitations.  So get the word out there, tell people where you will be and if you are going to have something special to show them or talk to them about to peak their interest.

It is not quite time to break out the sweaters (here I sit in 108 degree weather)…especially with the heat wave all over the map…but maybe a few new “trade show shirts” should be added to the budget and ordered for the staff for fall! Inventory your giveaway products and maybe check out those graphics and booths to make sure nothing has been smashed or is missing.  Also a check to make sure products are still applicable to your shows on your signage is always a good idea.

Gypsies, on a side note;  All I can say is … I really do not like election years, it throws people into a tizzy over the various “issues” and the show industry gets over-taken by budget cuts in anticipation of the election or worse the “wait and see’s” that will kill a show because organizers cannot wait to book, and the 11th hour sign-ups might have missed the boat and sunk the ship in the process.  So, get your bats out (or maybe the dog in the post) and fight for your budget, products, business and MARKETING, the low numbers at the end of the year will not help anyone, no matter how the election goes, so let’s get ready to rumble!


High Season ….wait…When?

Magic Packed!

Well tradeshow gypsies, get your magic bag together it is FALL SHOW SEASON! Gotta love it! There are times during the year when shows escalate and sometimes gypsies do not remember what city they are landing in next. After the 3rd show in a row you are not sure if you are looking at your flight number, booth number, or hotel room number; a few times standing in front of my booth number in a hotel YIPES! Luckily only once someone opened the door after my frustration of putting in my key a couple of times; and they were a fellow gypsy that completely understood the situation.

Having your due diligence done, your white board filled in, and your folders filled with printed/dated orders; you have done what you can do thus far. Now it is time to break out the brain yoga and get your flexible mind in gear. Here is where those great creative skills, everyone is always targeting on your performance review, get to shine!

This show gypsy tried to fly in the day before setup day because so many things can go wrong and this would always give me a little more time to deal with any issues.  If you can get to the show floor the day you arrive and get your badge/floor map and any addendum/check to see if your freight is in your booth; that is a time saver and gives you a little more time until you meet your labor/or set-up yourself in the morning.  There have been times when time is wasted when picking up exhibitor badges and your labor is already at the booth and on the clock, if you are lucky and have specific instructions they may start without you, but more often than not they want to see your smiling face. If you are flying in and doing setup the same day get ready to “move-it-move-it” or “hurry-up-and-wait” it could go either way depending on your show and shipping.

When you unpack and set-up for the show, remember it is much easier to tear down quickly if you have your packing boxes and they are in your tiny storage area where you can pull them out and get things packed easily. REMEMBER SHOW ETIQUETTE – no tape guns etc. until the show closes. You know there is always that one customer that walks up at tear-down…always!  Some shows are on a point system and you can lose points for tearing down early and you can jeopardize your booth space selection for the next year, it is a big deal if you are the tradeshowgypsy doing booth selection!

Also, if you have to wait for your show crates, bugging labor in a gruff manner is not going to get you anything but last. Make sure you are professional and courteous to your fellow gypsies they are on the road, and dealing with all kinds of people, and you want to be one that they remember for being nice and helpful. Don’t expect them to be rushing because you planned your flight poorly, they have to support ALL the exhibitors and you are just one of them, put yourself in their shoes.

Looking forward to this fall, seems as though business has a good grasp of the value of face-to face business and how valuable shows can be, even though they are running lean and mean, they are out there and the economy can only get better if companies are doing business! This gypsy is happy to be a part of this industry that deals with real people instead of strictly online communications!  GO gypsies  GO! Great to see companies taking the bull by the horns and doing business and using those innovative skills to help us get growth back on the map!