In your twenties, trade shows are awesome. You’re single, traveling to all the cool big cities, getting free dinners at night, going to late night parties, networking, exchanging business cards, making new friends — then you go to bed and get up and do it all over again. In your thirties, you’ve seen (and smelled) enough of Vegas and all the big cities start to seem the same so you start to seek out lesser known shows that are held in quaint small towns. In your forties, Orlando is awesome — bring the kids along or fly them down afterwards — you do the show by day, they do Disney and you’re all together at night. By the time you’re in your fifties, all trade shows suck — or, hopefully, you’re important enough that all you have to do is show up and leave, no assembly required.
But, no matter the age, no matter the time, there are five things you’ll never hear said in or around a trade show:
1. This food is awesome: Nope, never. There is not a single trade show venue where food is a priority. And, if someone does say anything remotely like that, they likely like Burger King and Arby’s. So, beware!
2. Wi-Fi in here is blazing fast: No way, never. Wi-Fi is not only a rip-off at every single convention city in the world, but it’s slower than dial-up. No joke!
3. I love trade shows: No one likes trade shows — unless, of course, you’re 22 years old, just started traveling for business and haven’t been many places in your life.
4. The people working in here are so nice: Uh, no.
5. We’re almost done: However long you have to set up a trade show booth or stand is how long it takes. If you have five days to set up, it takes five days. Have three, you get it done in three. No matter how much time you have, that’s how much time it takes.