Friday, April 08, 2011

Too many booths, not enough time

I am addicted to trade shows. I have said this before and I will say it again and again.

There is just something alluring about walking down an aisle decorated with graphics, lightweight material, computers, modular booths of various sizes and styles, the changes in carpet and flooring every 20 or 40 feet, LED rope lights and banner stands. Perhaps it is the tchotchkes or dishes of free chocolate and candies that make me stop along the way to the other side of the convention floor.

It does not seem to matter whether I am browsing hardware, tractors, gadgets, appliances, spas or pools. or pet products. I just enjoy being a part of the face-to-face industry that is such a huge part the economic structure of Las Vegas. One week I am looking at construction machinery and the next it's popcorn and movie snacks. It is just amazing to see the many shows that move in and out of the convention centers.

Exhibitor offers a special insight into the trade show industry and I enjoyed my time on the floor as well as the time spent in conferences and roundtable discussions. I learn a lot from the people who have been in the industry long enough to remember the days before Face book, Twitter or cell phones. I did have a bit of a withdrawal after the show was over and I did have to reach for a Champion Exposition Services squishy boxing glove, which I found in the bottom of my show bag.

Yet, there is just never enough time to visit ever booth and say hello to every exhibitor. I do try to say hello to as many exhibitors that I can, especially those who may not have the best location on the trade show floor. When I do spend time in an exhibit, however, it is hard to appreciate the time spent creating the experience.

Take for instance the MG Design's Mansion of Mystery exhibit. I can't imagine how much time must have gone into creating this one-of-a-kind experience, which combined emerging technology with a funhouse atmosphere where behind every window a specific top was being addressed. I would have liked to have heard from every one of the "mystery-style" characters that were part of the experience.

If you missed a chance to tour the mansion I have a video on YouTube that highlights the MG Design's use of RFiD and Augmented Reality.  Click here to read about MG Design's manions and view the video. I will be posting other videos soon but feel free to check out my photos from EXHIBITOR2011.

It was an impressive exhibit but it was not the only one that caught my attention but it certainly made a lasting impression. I wonder what will be new next year?

I don't have to wait long for my next trade show dose. Next week I will be wondering around at NAB — the digital media show. It will be my first time to NAB and I am looking forward to collecting some movie tchotchkes.

See you on the floor!