You’re fresh out of high school/college and into the real world, and you’re headed for your first tradeshow! You’re excited…and nervous, as you should be. You may be in a big city you’ve never been to before, you may realize that this is going to be the first big test of how well you know your company’s products, or you may just be looking around and not know what you’re in for.
Here’s what you should expect.
- You will forget your business cards
Maybe not your first time, or the next, but eventually you will forget your cards. If you do this, and somebody graces you the honor of asking how to contact you, you will surely look like an idiot if you come off like, “Oh, I forgot to bring my card!—To the biggest show that my company does.”
Always remember that you will forget your business cards and you will never forget your business cards.
- The harder the booth babe leans against you while demonstrating a product, the worse the product
They are directly proportional. And it doesn’t even need to be a true booth babe. It could be a young attractive woman in jeans who unnecessarily leans into your body while demonstrating how a camera zooms and drops the term “interpolation” on you while doing so. Maybe she knows what she’s talking about—but, not to be sexist, that’s probably not why she’s there.
It’s obvious, but the reason companies hire these women to stand in their booths is because their products don’t stand up on their own. They do not want you to think that; they want you to buy on an impulse because their booth babe leaned into your groin a little.
- There will be candy wrappers on your floor Pick them up and throw them away, unless the show happens to be a candy wrapper convention.
- That ad salesperson who’s been calling you will find you
If you returned every single call you get for ad space offers you’d never get anything done. But the caller will find you. If they don’t, they will grab your business card or leave theirs.
This is the only time when rule 1 comes in handy…not like it matters. They already have your number anyway.
- You will quickly find out where you are in your corporation’s social ladder
If everyone has plans after the show, and you aren’t invited to any of them, that’s because nobody likes you. Welcome back to high school.
You could also brush it off as if you’re doing pretty well in your career and say “Hey, it’s lonely at the top!” But, since you’re a newbie, it’s probably more likely that you are strange and awkward.