Three Reasons Why Chairs Kill Trade Shows
Trade Show Samurais will often find themselves defending their trade against the tyranny of the status quo. Trade Show Nirvana is only achieved when all booth staffers have been fully trained and indoctrinated into the ways of the Trade Show Samurai and developed a mastery of the four core arts.
There are no relics of the Dog & Pony strategy that are more deeply ingrained than the chair. Chairs have been part of trade show booths since the beginning of time and you will find scant few examples of booths without chairs. Trade Show Samurais do not use chairs. There are three main reasons:
- Booth staffers will sit on them. When a staff member sits down in the booth they are not ready for action. They cannot assume the Trade Show Samurai stance and they can’t properly engage attendees. When a Trade Show Samurai is tired they simply leave the booth for ten minutes, sit down in one of the thousands of chairs outside the booth, take a quick rest, and then return to the dojo.
- Attendees will sit on them. Few things waste more time than an attendee who has parked themselves in your booth. They will feel slightly awkward and feel compelled to feign interest in you and your product long enough for them to catch their breath. These are Time Bandits and they should not be allowed. Once they sit down it is nearly impossible to apply the Art of Disengagement.
- Chairs get in the way. Trade Show Samurai booths are a flurry of activity. Every square inch of the booth is put to good use and it’s not a good thing to be bumping into furniture and other people. Engaging an attendee properly will require about 100 square feet of open space. If a chair is in the way you will inhibit your ability to stay in the zone.
As a Trade Show Samurai I have fought this battle numerous times and numerous times I have lost. I learn to live with it and to work around it. The way of the Trade Show Samurai is to practice humility and patience for someday the others will see the light and someday they, too, will want to experience Trade Show Nirvana.