Weekly News & Insights: Topics of Controversy

Graphic: FreeImages.com/arte_ram

Graphic: FreeImages.com/arte_ram

These days there’s a lot of discussion about the use of unmanned mechanical drones flying around our skies. Earlier this month, trade show industry giant Freeman announced plans to use drone technology to capture real-life views of meeting venues in order to provide virtual tours online. Depending on the facility, users will be able to use a combination of fly-through videos, 360-degree imagery with interactive hotspots, photo galleries and more. At least these drones won’t be buzzing around the neighborhood delivering pizzas …

For those who’ve been in the trade show world for any length of time, we’ve pretty much seen it all. So the fact that an exhibitor was caught nursing her 10-day-old infant in the booth may not come as a huge surprise to many of us (yes, I’ve seen it before). But the fact that she was kicked out of the National Restaurant Association Show has caused a lot of controversy. You see the show has a “no children under 16” rule for safety reasons, which the mom thought didn’t apply to her. Working moms have come to her defense in droves, saying that she has every right to keep her baby with her. But the fact is that rules are rules and she got caught breaking one. Period.

And finally … travel rewards. Trade show road warriors love their travel rewards points — I once cashed mine in for an almost-free vacation (yes, we had to change hotels midway through, but that’s a small price to pay). But now if the IRS has their way, hotels, airlines, car rental companies and others might be taxed every time a customer redeems their points. There’s no doubt that this would then trickle back to travelers in the form of altered redemption options.

So what do you think about these controversial topics? Please weigh in with your comments below.


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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. Exhibit Design That Works (the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community.

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