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Top Tips for Tradeshows

Ok, it’s my final work day before jetting off for the annual jamboree that is SIBOS.

This year’s SIBOS has three themes: regulation, recovery and rebuilding trust.

So, let’s explore these briefly.

And, just in case you are not going to SIBOS, you might learn something too as these are my top tips for all large tradeshows.

First, regulation.

Regulate yourself to not start drinking until after 12:01 unless you really have to.

That’s 12:01 p.m., not 12:01 a.m. by which time you won’t know what you’re doing anyway, especially if you have combined alcohol with severe jet lag.

You can break this rule only if you find that, on awakening, your mouth cannot open, your tongue is so dry that it feels like sandpaper and your eyes are red raw rings.

Then you are allowed a drink before 12:01 p.m. in the form of a Bloody Mary to start the day.

Or two or three to be honest.

Meanwhile back to regulation, you should aim to regulate your intake for most of the early sessions to beer and wine only. Try to avoid over-doing the tequila slammers and vodka shots until after 20:00, if you want to ensure that you do not embarrass yourself by throwing a drink over someone’s head or something similarly stoopid.

Oh yes, and if you do throw a drink over someone’s head, make sure it’s a person you meant to do that to.

Second, recovery.

No doubt you will spend most mornings at SIBOS in recovery mode.

The best way to recover is not to get wrecked the night before.

However, knowing that you will do that, the best recovery is not three Bloody Mary’s (or four or five), but a massive hearty breakfast of fried eggs and sausages, with black pudding and toast.

Some mushrooms help, but avoid the baked beans unless you want your company’s reputation to stink.

If you honestly cannot face the large breakfast, then the second best recovery can be achieved by placing fingers to the back of the throat. This is far more extreme, and not necessarily recommended every morning, but it is effective and can be useful for weight loss too.

Finally, rebuilding trust.

As mentioned, at some point during the week you will no doubt have done something to offend someone, like sticking your fingers down your throat just as your boss knocks on the door to see why you aren’t on the stand at 10:30 in the morning … or something far worse.

Obviously, this loss of trust between you and the rest of the team will be bad and, sometimes, way bad, but you can set about recovering trust by following Skinner’s tried and tested four step process.

First, work out the severity of your offence. If it was sexist or racist, obviously that’s a lot worse than just being a completely moronic and obnoxious drunk. There are plenty of the latter around but, in today’s world, where we can take offence for the very mention of ginger hair, you must be really careful with anything politically incorrect as that could be a job loss moment.

Second, once you’ve worked out the severity of your crime or, if you honestly cannot remember, then reconcile the pieces by seeing how many people are talking to you today – take into account that if you had the baked beans with your breakfast recovery, then the avoidance of your company may be for other reasons – then try to identify how many units of alcohol it took to reach this depth of depravity.

Usually, fifteen is a pretty good marker for the average attendee, but regular tradeshows delegates may be able to double or even treble that number.

Third, and most important, work out who in the team has yet to commit a crime. Ideally, the weakest members of the team will be the ones held back as targets for the end of week party. You know the sort, the teetotallers, the abstainers, the ones who go to bed early, the really creepy ones who follow the boss around…

Once you’ve identified an appropriate party, make sure you befriend them before the final night of the tradeshow. Equally, be careful which member you select as your target as, if too many of the team target this particular individual, they might get suspicious.

Fourth, on the final night, use your marker.

No doubt they will be abstemious if they are normally, but this can be easily overcome by placing a large dose of roofies in their diet coke at the start of the evening.

For those who have seen the film the Hangover, you know the result of this. For those who aren’t familiar with the film, go rent it. Funniest thing ever.

Anyways, having cornered your subject to unsuspectingly being subjected to your methodology, you are now free to ensure they consume at least twenty units of alcohol or more, and watch the show as they make a complete and utter wazzock of themselves.

Assuming you followed the four-step process correctly, it will therefore be the strongest who survive – you – whilst your weaker team mate finds the P45 meant for you on their desk when they return from the show.

So there you have it, my top tips for any tradeshow.

I trust you enjoy SIBOS next week in Amsterdam, and do remember the themes this year:

  • Regulate your alcohol intake,
  • Recover as fast as you can, and
  • Rebuild trust by leaving your knife firmly implanted in your mate’s back.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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