Continuity Contributors

Conference Shows and Quality Street

Organisers and exhibitors should be thanked for considering the visitors quirky needs. Freebies aren't the most important thing to take away.
Have you ever been to a conference or an exhibition, and noticed the quality (and variety) of sweets, available in the bowl on each stand, all trying to tempt you into a conversation with the people about their products and services?

Conference shows and exhibitions are part of parcel of all industries and sectors around the world. They provide an excellent opportunity to showcase innovation, technology, equipment and concepts. They provide a platform for networking and consensus gatherings of like-minded people, listening to a guest speaker sharing their ideas and experiences.

Too many conference sweets perhaps? Too many buffet lunches?The shows also provide us the opportunity to see familiar faces from the past, and to notice if they’ve put weight on since you last saw them? Too many conference sweets perhaps? Too many buffet lunches?

Gratitude and Professionalism

Whatever the industry, we must be extremely grateful for any organisation that is prepared to invest in their time, expense and effort to participate as an exhibitor. Its not cheap. Yes, it’s business of course, but they are bold and show a professional commitment to the subject cause. They support whatever profession it is, as part of a collaborative approach, to make things happen. We need their support. It’s about collaboration and relationships. Attitudes.

We need their support – Thank you

And the event organizers themselves. It isn’t an easy task and possibly a thankless task sometimes. Competition and getting the theme right. Getting visitors interest and keeping them engaged, whilst ensuring the show must go on attitude. I guess people will still complain about something though? Resilience is the key.

6th Annual Oscar Celebration of New Zealand Filmmaking

Aisles, Rows and Zones. Sweets, Pens and Gadgets

We walk down the aisles and through the rows; we enter the different zones and then we exit them. As we wander around the exhibition hall, our eyes make contact with the people on the stands, working hard to showcase their organisations products and services.

I’ve seen others boldly go and grab a handful of sweets, without even so much as a thank you, let alone a ‘please can I take one?’We also look at the layout of the stand and what’s on the table in front? And we look at the ‘freebies’ available, to draw us in and reward us for our hopeful interest and conversations.

Now I’ve always been too humble and respectful and have never had the guts to just go up to a stand, and just take a freebie without engaging into a conversation about the products on offer. I can’t’ do that. It’s not me. But I’ve seen others boldly go and grab a handful of sweets, without even so much as a thank you, let alone a ‘please can I take one?’

As technology advances further in the future, the greater the need for human interaction, there will be. We need such shows and events to bring together like-minded individuals, from all agencies, under one roof, even if its just for a day or two, who share a common goal and profession.

Share their attitudes

Quality Street 2Such events enable the sharing knowledge, experience and attitudes. To re-think and to consider. To fire up the passion again. To motivate. To find the solutions.

Whether there are Quality Street, (other confectionary and candy are available) or even the humble boiled sweet on offer, I’d like to thank the exhibitors for thinking of the visitors.

The freebie packages of sweets, pens and the gadgets, are not the most important things you can take away from these events. The relationships and connections matter most.

Thank you for the show.

But what sweets tempt you in? 😝


  1. As both an Exhibitor and attendee, I’ve seen both sides. Rest assured that most (if not all) vendors assume a certain percentage will simply take a candy – or other promotional item – without expressing interest in your product (or even making eye contact!). It’s just a cost of doing business. That said, it’s always nice when someone approaches with honesty: “I’m not really in the market for your product, but I’d really like to have one of those (fill-in-the-blank).” Sometimes that’s an opportunity to ask a question: “Why AREN’T you in the market? What are you doing instead? How’s that working out?”. Opportunity comes in many forms and via many paths. Give-aways are a small price to pay (and – truth be told – we seldom want to lug them – or pay to ship them – home anyway.

    1. @jmitchell52 as a wise and positive communicator, and may I say influencer in our field, your experience and description is perfectly pitched. Opportunity comes through the ability to connect with people and build that relationship. Break down the barriers. If it takes a piece of candy or a loss leader gadget to enable that, then that’s not such a bad thing as you say. Thanks for reading and commenting Jim. I appreciate it as always. No candy required!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: