Making Friends along the way!…Wait …Who?

First things first… Shout Out to the new gypsies I met this week and the inspiration for this post… Gabriela, Kristina, Kristine and  RN…:)

Tradeshow Gypsy Friends ROCK!

Gypsies unite! You are unique, qualified, capable, and extremely necessary to any company!

There is nothing like a friendly face that is enjoying the same work that you do; and sometimes suffering the same agonizing or annoying issues that occur. Everyone who is working in events/shows/conferences knows that the nuances that can happen are often extremely stressful and completely unrecognized by your own internal teams. Rarely is this career path understood for the amount of work it takes to do a great job with shows and events. You have to love routine and chaos in order to do this job well!

A show gypsy is a special kind of person that can manage everything from VIP communications to a creative X-Acto Knife. Tradeshow Gypsies have to be gregarious, flexible, patient, organized, tenacious, mechanical, and clever in order to survive the road and internal teams! We are immediate decision-makers and have the make-it-happen attitude (preferably without any bleeding involved; especially yours)!

Event managers are usually a part of the marketing team; and often cast off as the one who has the easy-party job, because you get to travel; you are deemed the “booth babe/boy”- non-technical; the “person” that fields the attendees that come for the swag, etc. etc., etc. When often what really happens is; you are the sales representative, the first contact in company communications which is often technical, the critically important approachable individual at that helm of shows making important decisions; and you are missing holidays, weekends, and home activities. However, if you love this career, those things don’t matter; you make the exceptions to do what you love, you thrive in this environment.

Great show/event managers have mastered this whole process so that it appears a seamless operation with often a complete disregard for the amount of stress that is associated with assuring the most professional appearance despite the uncontrollable issues that occur, all the while working to keep costs down and generating revenue while you are at it!

Take heart dear gypsies, you are not ALONE! This is why it is extremely important to be meet your peers out on the road and make friends and support each other. Gypsies need that support system so that if anything goes wrong you have help or if you have time to have a cup of coffee or put up your feet with a glass of wine after hours, you can pal up! (I’d say go out and party, but we all know we are too dang tired to do that, and all we really want is a foot rub and sleep!)

I love sharing and talking with other Gypsies and helping out where I can, I have lifelong friends from all over the world and we have worked/known each other for 15 years. All of us have exchanged helping each other from scissors to setup and even rescue from illness. Your internal teams can of course be life savers too, but sometimes they are not there when the initial/after work is going on for the main event.

So gypsies, now that I wrote a book…errr sorry about that…take the time while you are on that show floor to definitely meet your booth neighbors and as many other gypsies as you can! We love our job, but it does get lonely if you do a lot of shows and you can burn out on a job you really like if you don’t make friends along the way!


Lost or found…wait Really?

No with a smile 🙂

Here is a word to the wise and a much shorter article for my gypsies today…


I cannot tell you how many times I would drum that into my fellow gypsies! As they would walk up with a customer, partner, etc. that came with luggage! The staff taking their laptops for use at the show is also a no-no. I understand people have to work but leaving huge brief cases stacked in the small, unsecure booth is just a flat-out NO!  Especially on tear-down…get-away day!

FYI – booths are temporary structures, which with one shove of a good gypsy hip can be opened! With many people coming through the booth it can be almost
impossible to define “who done it?”!

As a responsible show manager you always worry about someone else’s things being in your booth; and 9 out of 10 they show up in the morning dump it in your booth and they are off to the races, and at the end of the day they are heading for the door with the herd in full MOO! (My Opinion Only) discussions and they won’t remember until they are half way to the nearest watering hole! Then YOU get THE call! Can you bring…or I can’t get back on the show floor (non-exhibitor of course). Or worse yet, you have the mystery black bag that no one remembers to whom it belongs or that person is now in a panic at the airport trying to remember where they left their, bag, purse, jacket, notebook, child, carry-on!

So gracefully decline and find out where the show has a checked baggage area or just say sorry and beat your staff later for having brought them under the “assumption” that they could leave their things in the booth. Hence the gypsies get a bad rap for missing or found items!