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Hidden rules govern almostevery area of our lives. They guide our behaviourand expectations, yet are not writtendown for us in neat little books. There's the 'five second rule', as in when a piece of food falls onthe floor, you can eat it if you pick itup within five seconds. Or howabout the 'high heel rule', which if a woman is taller than her date, she is less likely to wear high heels.And then there's the 'full moon rule',where on days with a full moonthere seems to be more crimescommitted and babies born.Exhibiting is an amazing way ofencouraging meaningful brandengagement with your targetaudience, but only if it is at the rightexhibition. Trade shows also aregoverned by similarly hidden, yetimmutable rules. You may have already run up against themwithout realising it, or discoveredthem through arduous experience. Since forewarned is forearmed,here are my 18 hidden rules lurkingbehind trade shows. Once theserules have been revealed to you, youmay enter your next show hall withthe open eyes of a seasonedexhibitor. And, if you've discoveredany of your own, please share themwith your fellow exhibitors. There isno rule against it!1] The more words you put onyour trade show display, the fewertimes it will be read.3] The colours of your exhibitionstand or displays will likely bedetermined by either: 1) yourbrand colours , 2) the latest design trends or 3) your companyMD's spouse. 2] The larger the crowd ofpeople already on your stand, themore other people will want tovisit too.5] As the effort each member ofshow staff puts forth increases, thedistance between them and theirboss decreases.4] The more fun visitors haveon your stand during a show, themore serious business you will dowith them afterwards.EXHIBITING- March 2011 www.exhibitingmagazine.co.uk14featurehidden rulesDirector of lead generation at Skyline Exhibits,Mike Thimmesch, offers 18 hidden exhibiting rules.Decipher the hiddenshow messagesMike Thimmesch"But darling, why can't you make your stand peppermint green and pink?

hidden rules6] Your best stand staffers areusually the ones who talk the least and listen the most.8] The person who complains themost about the value of being at atrade show is usually the one whoknows the least about the process anddoesn't work hard on the show floor.10] The greater the distance avisitor has travelled to attend a tradeshow, the higher the level ofhospitality you should be providing.7] The longer a team memberstretches out their break, the fewerleads they will take when they areactually exhibiting on the stand.9] The length of time to designyour exhibition presence expandsexponentially with the number ofdecision makers involved.11] Carpet belongs on the floor ofyour trade show stand, not on thedisplay back wall.12] The bigger the main visualimage on your trade show exhibit,the clearer people will understandyour message.14]The better-looking theexhibitor's shoes, the more likely he/she will complain about sore feet.13] The more years you exhibitat the same show, the more youwill have repeat customers visityou at your stand.15] The older your exhibitiondisplays, the less innovative yourcompany will appear to be to visitors.17] The more your show leadscontainer looks like a rubbish bin,the more likely your team leader willend up screaming.18] The faster you follow up yourtrade show leads, the greater the salesyou will generate from that show.16] The more aisle spacebordering your booth, the moreopportunities your team has toengage with visitors.Don't waste your leads "Trade shows aregoverned byhidden, yetimmutable, rules"Nice shoes, but not-so-nice exhibitor experience