People who work trade shows fall into one of two categories; those who love the experience, and those who dread even hearing the words “trade show.” This article will be addressing the latter. If you’d rather shoot yourself than attend another trade show, you should find solace in knowing you are not alone. We’ve compiled a list of 10 reasons why people hate trade shows, and justifiably so!
1. Infomercial Hell
Anyone who has seen a TV infomercial knows that they are the most annoying ads to grace the airways. Being at a trade show is like living inside a late night infomercial. There are plenty of blaring sales speeches, useless products, and one fake guarantee after another. It’s enough to justify bringing a bottle of aspirin along.
2. The Endless Crowds
For some reason trade shows tend to attract a lot of people. Dealing with an endless swarm of people can tire out the best of salespeople. If you must attend a trade show in the near future, make sure to bring a lot of caffeine, and a lot of patience.
3. Expect a Low Return on Investment
If you are a business owner or sole proprietor, you should know trade shows are very expensive. When you add up the travel costs, labor, an ancillary costs, you’ll find that you have made a hefty investment. Making such an investment is wise if you can generate a huge profit, but trade shows are hard places to make big sales. Many of the attendees are there to browse, or buy small purchase items. This means that you must sell a high volume to make a profit. However, you have to compete for your customers’ moneybags along with the numerous other vendors.
4. The Day the Trade Show Stood Still
Working at a trade show can be unbelievably boring. In fact, everyday seems to repeat itself like a scene from the movie Groundhog Day. Not to mention that the clock seems to go a lot slower while your immersed in the trade show world. This is a place where looking at your watch will only make you more depressed.
5. Falling on Deaf Ears
Maybe you’ve been the unlucky team member tasked with giving presentations at the show. You’re all set up, microphone blaring as you run through the sales script, and the only motivation is that you might actually connect with a few customers and make some sales. But long behold, it appears that the zombie-like crowd doesn’t even hear what you’re saying. They walk by you with a thousand mile stare, watch you for a few minutes like a zoo animal, and lollygag on. After several attempts you realize you are not even making a difference. You are just a big bag of hot air.
6. Salesman Selling Other Salesmen
Any trade show veteran knows a guy (or gal) who couldn’t distinguish a prospect from other sales people. They start off talking to you about business, and sharing experiences and ideas to pass the time. Then comes the inevitable sales pitch, “Hey Tom couldn’t you use a pair of Ginsu knives for Christmas.” Then it hits you, this guy isn’t your friend or a fellow salesman talking shop, he is trying to sell you!
7. Bad Timing
When a company flies out its sales crew to a remote show, it’s easy to end up with jet-lag. It’s also likely the sales team will be required to wake up early to start working the morning shift. A lack of good sleep, and a situation which is already annoying enough equals a recipe for a rough few days.
8. High Pressure Sales
The high pressure sales atmosphere is experienced by both sides of the coin. Sales reps are faced with increased pressure to close what management perceives as easy pickings. Potential buyers on the other hand are bombarded with endless sales talk and the closest they’ll get to having a gun pointed at their head.
9. Losing Out on Life
Sales managers often present the idea of attending a trade show like it was an all inclusive paid for vacation at the Sandals Resort. They’ll talk about the exciting traveling, promising nightlife, and memorable team building activities. Reality is a lot bleaker though. What it really means is several days on the road, missing out on family life, and losing out on sales leads they have been nurturing at the home office.
10. Sore Feet
Working a trade show is not for the physically weak. It is likely you will have to stand on your feet all day, or do a lot of walking. This guarantees that you will not only be mentally drained, but your body will be aching too!