I’ve just come back from holiday and I’m feeling slightly depressed about the fact that I’m not snorkelling in the Florida Keys today. Such is the level of my mood that I considered writing a post about all the things I hate about IBC, but it’s not easy to link the effect Amsterdam’s climate has on my hair to a PR topic.
It is hard to present a professional image with candyfloss on your head though, and if your business is one of the 1700 exhibitors at IBC, or if you’re representing your company at meetings during the show, then your appearance is a direct reflection on the business. I can recommend hair products to anyone who shares my follicular challenges, but you’ll have to figure out whether you can walk 20 000 steps a day in anything other than trainers for yourself.
Planning your show diary can be a nightmare too. It’s too early to book meetings in July, everyone’s on holiday in August and September is chaos. And then someone forgets to sync their calendar time zones. Friday and Saturday night at the show invariably involve trying to split your team, or your time, between three parties, twelve award ceremonies and a client dinner – if you can find a restaurant that isn’t fully booked.
Don’t even get me started on the expense of it all. Even if you’re just visiting the show and don’t have pay for exhibition space or stand design, the cost of accommodation alone is enough to cripple any budget. It’s really important to use your time at IBC productively to get a return on this investment, which is why planning is critical. More and more people are booking short visits of just a day or two and everyone has less free time for unplanned meetings. Leave it to the last minute if you dare.
But the thing that I loath entirely (to quote The Grinch) is the inevitable exhibitor that doesn’t make an effort. Despite the fact that they’ve just dropped the cost of a black-market kidney on the show, these people can barely muster the energy to tack a poster to the back wall and spend most of their time ignoring prospects in favour of their inbox, or completely abandon their stand for extended periods. No doubt these are the same people who don’t think it’s worth doing pre-show publicity and haven’t bothered to populate their exhibitor profile. I hate this waste of marketing budgets almost as much as I hate companies that still think it’s OK to employ booth babes.
It seems like I’ve ended up writing a piece on what I hate about IBC after all. But now that I’ve got all that off my chest, I can’t deny that I am actually looking forward to the show – to the hustle of packed halls, the excitement of new announcements, catching up with familiar faces and meeting new people. It’s a great show, just not quite as much fun as snorkelling in the Florida Keys.
Get in touch if you’d like to meet up at the show and compare blisters 😄