Mulligan Management Group, LLC

7 Things That Can Sour Your Exhibitors' Experience


BizBash recently interviewed four seasoned event planners and exhibitors about their trade show complaints -- from rising costs to unsupportive staff – in an article titled, “23 Things that Drive Exhibitors Crazy”.

This article will focus on seven of these complaints and how SmartSource Rentals can address them with our many technology solutions.


“The rental fees are so crazy. The frustrating part from an exhibitor standpoint is your hands are tied in the sense you are at the show’s mercy,” stated Betsy P. Earle, CTSM, Creative Director at Event Driven Solutions.

Consider entering into an Exhibitor Appointed Contractor arrangement. Having this arrangement with an organization such as SmartSource Rentals allows you the flexibility to have one contract at one price for all your trade shows in 2014 and beyond.


Because the trade show floor is so massive, many times exhibitors bring their own MiFi network that taps the bandwidth on an already device crowded floor. In addition, private MiFI networks can interfere with the venue’s Internet infrastructure, causing it to slow down or come to a halt.

A Wi-Fi network array rental unit can work within the boundaries of the existing venue infrastructure and boost the bandwidth, as well as, garner more access points for attendees. Because this system will make the Internet much faster, there is no need for MiFi devices and vendors are encouraged to leave them at home.


“Do I trust the data posted from most show managers these days? No, because less than 1% of the shows in the United States are audited,” stated Glenda Brungardt, CTSM, Tradeshow/Event Manager at HP.

An automated lead retrieval system makes a lot of sense. Swiping or scanning the attendee’s badge takes only a few seconds and since the basic information was provided by the attendee, you know it is right. All the data is collected on the spot; no need to rely on a list and try to fill in the blanks.


Exhibitors would like to have a single point of contact and be updated about show happening and announcements on a real-time basis.

Nothing works more effectively for this than a video wall rental unit. These ultra-thin, HD monitors can be configured up to 10 x 10 and run as one large image or configured to whatever makes sense for your show, including a map of the trade show floor, twitter feeds, live streaming of educational content and up-to-the-minute announcements.


Many trade shows do not use social to its fullest potential with Twitter hashtags, Instagram pics and Facebook postings. Because we are becoming such a real-time visual society, it makes sense to promote this visual imagery on the show floor.

If you rent iPads that are already preloaded with the social channels, you can start the social conversation as soon as the attendee comes on the floor and keep the conversation going throughout the entire conference. On the 2nd through 4th generation of iPads, users can take photos and post them on the event’s video wall. In addition, iPads are very convenient for booth reps that are constantly moving about the exhibitor space.


As attendees travel hundreds or thousands of miles to attend conferences, most likely they are going to have one or more of the following things affect their ability to use their mobile device for hours on end:

  1. They left their charging cord at home. (It happens more than you might think.)
  2. They forgot to minimize the 15+ applications they were using throughout the day or
  3. They attended back-to-back sessions that were video and social intensive. 

Now they have a choice -- dash back to the hotel and charge their mobile device or go on the trade show floor and hope it lasts for the next hour.

Make it easy for attendees to stay and relax while they are at the trade show. Put a charging station in your booth giving you 10 minutes to chat with the prospect about your products and services. It is a “win-win because they will have a charged device and you will have garnered some of their time.


“I think there are too many times they continued to glance over the exhibitor requests and say, ‘Well only one person is asking for it, that doesn’t justify it.’ But if one person asks for it, it does. Isn’t that customer service?” Brugardt stated.

Find out what your exhibitors’ want by polling them in an easy, instantaneous and anonymous method through wireless Audience Response Systems. This system will help you determine what exhibitors want now and in the future. Then your job is to follow-through on their requests.

SmartSource Rentals is the largest Total Technology rental company in the United States with 21 full-service locations. Our company offers a complete range of cost-effective solutions including Charging Stations, iPads, Video Walls, and much, much more! We also are in a position to offer your organization an one-price, one-contract for EAC options.    

For more information about SmartSource, please call us at 800.888.8686 --- we rent technology solutions! 

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