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Trade Show Security Issues: Corporate Cloak and Dagger
While trade shows offer unparalleled opportunities for product promotion, the abundance of merchandise on display can invite theft and even corporate espionage. The unfortunate reality is that in today’s hyper-competitive business environment your competitors can and will seek every advantage.
As Candy Adams, an independent exhibit management consultant, recently explained to Exhibitor Magazine, “With the plethora of expensive A/V equipment, computers, and proprietary products, and the chaos of the show setup, trade shows are an attractive target for thieves. And the labor hired to work on the show floor is not always screened for criminal records.”
With so many freebies typically given away at trade shows, there will always be those who will take advantage of the situation by hoarding these promotional materials and depleting your stock. Staffers from other exhibits have been known to wander the hall and load up on these items. While such behavior is inconvenient, a business could be devastated if a product prototype or some other vital item were pilfered.
Use Common Sense
There are a number of common sense methods that can be used to ensure that your trade show experience is both pleasant and profitable for your company. Be proactive and take the precaution of safeguarding all your promotional items in a locked storage container, counter, or pedestal when unattended. Be careful not to display any freebies until right before the show is scheduled to open.
Veronica Barclay, writing for Wine Business Monthly warns that “Most trade show theft occurs from competitors rather than the exposition crews working in the convention center. Computer boxes or electronics cartons are usually the first to be stolen. One way to deter theft is to purposely mislabel critical items packed in a box marked ‘printed matter’ or ‘sales brochures,’ and hide them under draped tables or counters.”
Consult your trade show contractor and exhibit professional on ways to secure your exhibit. Your show binder contains forms which can be used to order onsite security services, such as security guards. Hiring a security officer for your booth could spell the difference between profit and peril.
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