Is everyone tired on the trade show floor?

Written October 4, 2011  |  Updated 10/4/2011

At a recent physician-focused trade show I couldn’t help but notice the mobile coffee carts littering the expo floor. Almost every major pharmaceutical and medical device company had an espresso, cappuccino, latté, or hot chocolate to offer attendees. While baristas are no strangers to events like these, the amount of caffeinated liquid flowing at this gig could have filled the great Mississippi.

Now, to be fair, it was a doctor-attended event, and the rules regarding swag have forced exhibitors to tempt attendees with only what can be ingested. (Sorry, nothing to take back home to the kids anymore!) Only one company thought to offer cobbler to go with the caffeinated beverages, and believe me, their booth was packed.

Trade show booth barista

Still, at the end of the day, does this sort of incentive to drive booth traffic really work? Admittedly, as a co-exhibitor, I was only in those neighboring booths to get my own caffeine and sugar fix. Yes, cards were swiped offering an opportunity to follow up with prospective leads, but how qualified were they? In my case, not qualified at all. As I know, I’m not in the market for an EKG machine anytime soon.

So I ask of my fellow exhibitors, wouldn’t it make more sense to attract prospects into the booth because you had a quality product/solution to offer them (on top of the cup of joe of course)?