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19 Signs You’re Addicted To Trade Shows

For many people, managing and staffing trade shows is somewhere between an inconvenience and a hassle, what with the travel, the time away from home, the endless details, and the long hours.

But for others, the love of trade shows runs so deep that the only thing that will get it out of their blood is embalming fluid.  Could that be you?  Here are 19 signs that you’re addicted to trade shows:

  1. You go to Vegas for a bachelor party at Mandalay Bay, but rather than hit the casino, you want to go check out the show floor.
  2. You don’t feel right washing your hair with shampoo that doesn’t come out of a one-ounce bottle.
  3. You wear a show lanyard around your neck…at home.
  4. When you meet someone new at your office, instead of asking for their business card, you ask them if you can scan their badge.
  5. When you hear someone say, “He’s a B.S. artist,” you think it’s a compliment about booth staffing skills.
  6. You expect everyone to know what drayage means.
  7. You think all client meetings should be only 10 minutes long and held standing up.
  8. Your living room has a strip of red carpet 10 feet wide going through it.
  9. You think Morgan Freeman lives in Dallas.
  10. You named your cat “Orlando” and your dog “McCormick.”
  11. You don’t have a problem with trade shows that start on the weekend.
  12. You’ve tried to talk your spouse into relocating to Las Vegas.
  13. You don’t feel too guilty about missing your kid’s birthday party for your industry’s main trade show.
  14. You think nothing about paying $11.50 for a hot dog and soda.
  15. You pride yourself that you can set up your trade show display in 5 minutes.
  16. You can remember your exhibit house’s phone number easier than the date of your anniversary.
  17. If you are actually in your hometown when the local Auto or Home show takes place, you never miss them.
  18. You get mad and launch into a fact-filled tirade when someone casually questions the value of trade shows.
  19. When you finally redeem some of your vast stockpile of frequent flyer miles, you take a vacation in Las Vegas, Orlando, or Chicago.

I started writing this post in my head before remembering two similar (and better) blog posts that certainly inspired me: the talented Christina Stallings’ “13 Telltale Signs You’re an Event or Trade Show Professional” and the energetic Emilie Barta’s post, “You Know You Are An Event Professional When …

Did you recognize yourself in any of these signs?  Got more of your own?  Share your own signs you’re addicted to trade shows in the comment box below.  Go ahead, it’s alright.  You’ll feel better.

What's Working In Exhibiting White PaperIf you’re addicted to shows, the best therapy is the free 32-page white paper report, What’s Working In ExhibitingClick here to get your copy.

About the Author

Mike Thimmesch is the Principal at Thimmesch Marketing. For over 25 years, he has created and implemented innovative marketing, lead generation, and exhibiting strategies that profitably grow company sales and brand awareness. Mike rose to Director level at Skyline Exhibits, where he helped generate over a half million leads, resulting in over $1 billion in sales. He published 11 industry white papers and eight exhibiting books, presented over 100 trade show webinars, and wrote over 200 exhibit marketing blog posts.

17 responses to “19 Signs You’re Addicted To Trade Shows

  1. If you follow a store’s traffic pattern instead of cutting through a department’s fixtures, you’re addicted to trade shows.

  2. Thank you so much for the compliment and your funny list, Mike!

    I’ll add…You roll your eyes when your non-trade show friends do not know the names of your trade shows and which industries they serve.

    AND…You get antsy when you are in the office for more than 2 consecutive weeks in a row.

    1. Emilie,

      You are welcome. Glad to give you a chuckle.

      And you are exactly right, of course our friends should know what HIMSS, CES, NAB, and IMTS mean!

      Gotta go, getting antsy…I hear the taxi stand calling…

  3. When the contacts list in your phone is cluttered with the numbers of I&D leadmen and airport shuttle services in cities all over the country.

    As usual, Mike, you made me smile!

  4. How about you haven’t purchased any of the following items in the past 10 years because you have enough logo items to stock your entire house/office:

    – pens
    – post-it notes
    – stress balls
    – coffee mugs
    – tote bags
    – frisbees
    – mints

    what am I missing?

    1. Suzanne,

      I think you pretty much covered the lot. When you mention 10-year old mints I start to shudder…and yet I have three-year old mints from a show that I pop in my mouth without a second thought (except about how they came from a competitor!)

  5. Understanding most traffic naturally gravitates to the right, if I’m in a hurry, I’ll go to the left.

    Used successfully at theme parks, thus avoiding longer lines and heavy traffic. I admit having to intentionally think about it, but it works!

    Happy Relationship Building,

  6. You know you’re a trade show junkie when you keep bugging the marketing department for next year’s show dates and cities.

  7. “Where’s the signage?” – a comment my friends hear me say when we attend events.

    Most friends usually say, “It’s no big deal, we just ask someone where registration is located.”

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