Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.


Are You Flirtin’ With Disaster?

Are you flirting with tradeshow disaster?

You may recall a little rockin’ song from the late 70’s by the Florida band Molly Hatchet called ‘Flirtin’ With Disaster’ – and when it came on the radio the other day it got me to thinking that in many areas of our life that’s exactly what we are doing!

Flirtin’ with Disaster!

So, are you baking up a Recipe for Disaster with your tradeshow marketing?

For instance, does your tradeshow planning look anything like this recipe?


4 medium bars of budget confusion

1/4 c. selfishness

1 tablespoon lackadaisical approach to planning

2 teaspoons bad booth design

7 pounds of inappropriate giveaways

3 oz. untrained booth staff (may be substituted with surly and/or disinterested staff)

4 tablespoons of planning brain freeze


Mix together for just a short time, spread unevenly on show floor and let percolate. For maximum results, feign interest in your visitors, discard most leads as ‘not for us’ and invent a story for the CEO as to why the show was unsuccessful.

Note: by using just a few of this recipe’s ingredients, you can still achieve a terrifically disappointing tradeshow experience!

Tradeshow Marketing Bucket List


What is on your Tradeshow Marketing Bucket List?

What? Why would that matter? Compiling a list of things that might be fun to do – in tradeshow marketing, no less – before you kick the bucket?

And again, why not?

By putting together a Bucket List for your tradeshow marketing efforts, you will begin to form larger ideas and put meat on the skeleton of tradeshow marketing ideas that already exist in your mind. But those ideas may be limited by the reality of your budget, schedule, availabilities and staff.

But wouldn’t it be get a little inspiration from the movies and have fun to play a “What If?” game?

So – suspend the constraints of your current reality and ask: what might go on your Tradeshow Marketing Bucket List?

  • Shows that you’d love to attend
  • Promotions you want to do
  • People you want to meet
  • Locations where you’d like to go to a show
  • Tradeshow booths that you’d like to purchase
  • Graphic artists or designers you’d love to work with
  • Products you’d like to promote

Can you see where this is going? Imagine all of the possibilities that you can come up with using those ideas as thought-starters. Undoubtedly you can come up with more kickstarters with a little more thought.

Create a Tradeshow Marketing Bucket List. Then keep it handy and start ticking off the items as you do them.

Creative Commons License

photo credit: the paessels

20 Tradeshow Exhibitor FAQs

Years ago websites started posting FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions –  as a way of helping those on the site seeking answers to a variety of items. Somehow I felt that FAQ meant ‘Frequently ANSWERED Questions’ because that was the point: Answer the freakin’ questions! But sometimes the questions that you WANTED to ask never got answered. So therefore you never saw those questions show up in an FAQ list.

But if you think about it, there are a lot of Frequently ASKED Questions that go unanswered. Or maybe in this case they’re INFrequently Asked Questions. Either way, it presents an opportunity to see what some of those questions are…

Maybe you have answers for these?

  1. What’s the theme song for a tradeshow manager?
  2. How much sleep will I get when I’m in Vegas for the show? Will it matter?
  3. Why do attendees ask such dumb questions? And why did my parents try to convince me that there’s no such thing as a stupid question?
  4. Will the airlines ever actually give me a decent meal again in my lifetime?
  5. What has the charge for extra luggage gone up to since the last time I booked a flight?
  6. Where’s my freakin’ exhibit!?? It should have been here yesterday!
  7. Why did I leave most of my business cards back at the office?
  8. Why did I let my spouse convince me that since the show is in Anaheim we should double up, bring the kids and tag a couple of extra days on the trip at Disneyland?
  9. How will I ever get away with giving my list of uncategorized leads to the sales department without them getting totally ticked at me?
  10. Why is it that the most uncomfortable shoes I have are the ones I brought to wear all day at the show?
  11. Where are those receipts I need for my expense report?
  12. Why do those graphics look crappy here at the show when they looked fine at the office?
  13. Where are our product samples?
  14. Why does our hired ‘professional’ presenter have such bloodshot eyes?
  15. The C-level celebrity wants HOW MUCH to appear at our booth?!
  16. The drayage bill was HOW MUCH?!
  17. You’re not going to put THAT photo on Facebook, are you?
  18. Why didn’t you tell me the CEO was coming?
  19. Can you make that espresso a double?
  20. Can you make that martini a double?

No doubt you can add your own questions to our Exhibitor’s FAQ…feel free!

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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