Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no it’s — it’s a guy on a ladder that’s about to fall!
All tradeshows have their cast of characters – both heroes and villains – but you may be so engrossed that you don’t recognize the hero (or the villain) working right beside you.
Holy Giant Graphic, Batman! It’s time for our list of the Top Ten Tradeshow Superheroes:
10. The Flash: If you want something done, ask a busy person. There’s always someone on the booth staff that has the ability to get things done, no matter what it takes. They look ordinary, and in fact, wear no special costume, but when an issue or problem arises, this person makes it happen.
Weakness: Burnout. Moving so fast for so long will definitely take its toll. In fact, the friction caused by moving so fast through Earth’s atmosphere may actually cause smoke or minor burning.
9. Captain America: Always fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way, Captain America seeks out wrong and strives to make it right. Whether it’s a banner that’s crooked, a small piece of dirt on the carpet, this super hero will go the distance to make everything perfect.
Weakness: Perfection is impossible. That’ll probably drive Captain America bonkers some day.
8. The Incredible Hulk: Okay, he’s typically mild-mannered, but suddenly during set-up of the booth, he turns into a behemoth able to lift large light fixtures, trusses or graphics to make set-up go easier. Be sure to buy the guy a drink after set-up. He’s earned it.
Weakness: Low self-image; needs emotional reinforcement.
7. Iron Man: No doubt you’ve met this super hero, but may not have recognized him. According to comic book mythology, Iron Man wears a suit of armor, yet underneath it all he battles demons such as alcoholism and a broken heart (literally, with a piece of threatening shrapnel), but is a brilliant businessman.
Weakness: So yeah, a flawed hero (aren’t they all?).
6. Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl: One minute she’s there, the next she’s gone. In the blink of an eye. Sometimes when you’re looking right at her. Disappears at certain hours only to reappear in the lounge.
Weakness: Tends to like the handsome nerdy type. Especially those with a rubber personality.
5. Politeness Man (from National Lampoon): Perhaps not a real super hero, still he does exist. No matter how rude people are to him or his staff, Politeness Man always manages to keep a smile pasted on his face, and treats people exceedingly nice.
Weakness: Can slip into a pithy condescending tone when his pals are not looking.
4. Johnny Storm, The Human Torch: A hothead at heart, all he needs is to encounter some small inconvenience and it’s all “Flame On!” Stand back or you’ll get burned.
Weakness: Water of course. Prefers something shaken, not stirred.
3. The Joker: Okay, not really a super hero, but the nemesis of all that is good about tradeshows. Constantly looking for ways to party harder, play practical jokes, make fun of people, but he vanishes when the going gets tough. Always returns to claim some sort of victory.
Weakness: I think Batman has his number. Right?
2. The Silver Surfer: Exiled to Earth by Galactus after saving the planet from destruction, the Silver Surfer….uh, wait. The Silver Surfer of the tradeshow floor is the aloof yet powerful entity (often a CEO or upper level management guru) that is visible for brief moments, then disappears into high-level conferences to discuss saving the company or aligning with another all-powerful entity. Or something like that.
Weakness: Still has a problem relating to the citizens of Earth. Would rather take that surfboard to parts unknown (Barbados, Jamaica, Maui, etc.).
1. Wonder Woman: No further description necessary – she’s a wonder and she’s a woman. Does it all. Unfortunately, she only exists on another company’s booth staff. A perfect 10, and often thought of as a vanishing species.
Weakness: None discovered so far.
Have you spotted any of these Superheroes lately? Did you thank them for the good work they do (except the Joker)? Did they vanish to their secret lair as soon as the work was finished?
Or – and this may be a tough question to answer – are YOU a superhero? If so, hurry up and change back into your disguise…or be prepared to sign autographs the next time you stop slow down for coffee.
Whew! Where’s the nearest phone booth?