Don Marti

Thu 07 Jul 2005 04:39:09 AM PDT

Eric Sink on trade shows

If you liked The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Technical Trade Shows you may also enjoy Going to a Trade Show by Eric Sink. On contests: "At the end of the week, one card will be drawn and the winner will get the prize. Later, all those business cards will probably get handed to some sales guy who will use them to pester people."

More likely, you'll get so many really bad leads that a good sales person won't find them worth his or her time. So you'll end up either throwing them away (with the good leads that you would have had time for if they weren't buried under 1500 people looking to win the prize) or hiring a contract telemarketing firm to try to qualify them.

One more "cheap" tip. You don't have to splash out on a turn-key display package. You can get trade show displays used, then get the graphics you need made separately. As long as the display isn't totally ratty, the people you want will mostly pay attention to you and the products anyway.

Tri-M used an Ikea shelving system to make their display to show off lots of small products. Looks classy.

Tri-M booth at the Embedded Systems Conference That's Tri-M founder Doug Stead on the right.

Detail of connector on Tri-M booth at the Embedded Systems Conference Ikea is your friend.