The Do’s and Don’ts

Should your booth not arrive at #SHRM18

You may remember the simplicity of our booth at last year’s SHRM conference in New Orleans (#SHRM17). No signage, no branded materials, no samples or giveaways. On more than one occasion the reference to the Emperor’s New Clothes came up from sympathetic attendees kind enough to visit us at the lonely carpeted booth with one table and two chairs.

As it turned out the simplicity was the result of our booth being lost in transit. It happens. Even the best plans can end up in a small town outside Boston. While I do not wish this stress on anyone IF you should find yourself in the unenviable position, here are a few Do’s and Don’ts.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t Cry (at least not in public)

Sometimes a few tears can elicit a change and help you get what you need. But not in this case. Crying just makes your colleagues more stressed and given you’re now the center of attention at your booth, best not to have mascara running down your face.

  1. Don’t Scream at the Shipper (it didn’t help)

We tried. It didn’t help one little bit. As the famous quote goes you’ll get more help by using sugar than salt. Given the show is only two days, chances are your booth won’t arrive in time so accept the situation and make the most of it. Discussions will be easier when talk turns to insurance claims.

  1. Don’t Hide Behind the Drayage (it bothers the booth behind you)

You may wish you were Violet Parr from the Incredibles with the power to turn invisible, but you’ll have to be an HR superhero and woo people with your charm and knowledge instead.

Do’s

  1. Put on your Creative Hat

We found a local printer and tacked up the largest sign he could make for us in one hour. Adding a funny reference was a great chance to show a little personality, resourcefulness and ability to think quickly.

One of our colleagues had branded hang tags in her carry-on that went with our missing personalized gifts. We purchased colorful lanyards from the dollar store and attached the tags. People liked the ability to clip business cards to the lanyard and our tag got more visibility and word of mouth than we would have otherwise.

  1. Direct your Efforts to Social Media

Post a picture or short video explaining where your booth is, take a selfie with the neighboring booth so people can find you, tweet slides from workshops with conference hashtag and presenter’s handle or capture some of the fun activities happening around you. Use this unfortunate situation to your advantage. We’re all human and people will appreciate your resiliency – a like-worthy trait.

  1. Recognize the Silver Lining

You likely won’t find this situation too funny until after it’s over but by finding some humor in it and making the most of what you do have, could potentially make you stand out more than your decaled booth!

Another silver lining is you’ll end up spending less than anyone else on the floor once your shipper’s insurance cheque arrives.

You’ll find us this year (with or without a booth) on the exhibitors floor #2320. Drop by for our daily $200 draw to the charity of your choice.

Are you coming to #SHRM18? If so, let us know!