I attended IIeX NA in Atlanta this past week… a very interesting event with a focus on technology and emphasis on the future of research. And attended by 750 people!
A gold mine for those companies exhibiting… or so you would think.
Several weeks ago, I was privileged to be invited by the folks at Greenbook to deliver a webinar to all IIeX exhibitors on how to get the most from their exhibiting experience. Clearly, a large percentage of the exhibitors were absent that day.
As I walked down the main aisle at the event – exhibitors on either side – here is what I saw… exhibitor personnel sitting down (not standing up, ready to engage)… behind their tables (a physical barrier to engaging)… heads down on their laptops or iPhones (showing a complete lack of interest in being there).
There was even one exhibitor, showcasing software with a large monitor on their table, with an employee who literally hid behind the monitor for most of the event, typing on his cell phone.
It’s sad… these companies spent thousands of dollars to rent exhibit space, ship materials, send 2-3 employees to Atlanta for several days, all in an effort to build awareness and establish potential client relationships… and these business development people at the event acted like they didn’t want to be there.
Yet, it’s these same companies who will complain that it was a lousy event and won’t want to exhibit there again in the future. Yes… you might have had a lousy exhibiting experience… but don’t blame the event.
Honestly, it’s not that hard to be a successful exhibitor… get rid of the chairs, push your table to the back of the space, put away your damn cell phone and get out there and meet people!
And stop hiding in your booth… it’s embarrassing.