do I get a trade-show booth for my company?
three weeks before the symposium. Can I still get a booth?
Your chances are about the same as finding a virgin at a Hell's Angels
convention. Still, you might get the annual award for bad planning. (Hey,
it's still visibility!) You'd be amazed how many times this question
is asked of Steering Committee members, who have nothing to do with the
show, a month before IMS week.
Again, call the organizer and see what can be arranged. Be prepared to accept
whatever might be available.
much does it cost to participate?
Anywhere from a few thousand USD to many tens or even
hundreds of thousands of USD, depending on how grand your booth is. Some deep-pocket
companies show up with huge, professionally designed booths, a couple dozen
salesmen, and trainloads of equipment. They often take up ten times the floor
space of more modest outfits. These guys probably drop several $100K on
the show, once they count up all the expenses. Still, even in these cases,
the break-even point may be only one or two sales so, for them, it may still be cost-effective.
everything else is reasonably priced, right?
Hahahahahahahahaha! You can be confident that the convention center
will do its best to separate you from your cash. Rental furniture and equipment
will cost 75% of the new price. Labor costs will be larded. Many convention
centers have union labor, so you will not be allowed to move your own stuff,
and you'll have to pay the center's extortionary labor rates. Bend over.
there any rules against using "T & A" to attract customers?
There are some rules about what can be done in booths (call the organizers for
more info), but most people don't know them and don't run afoul of them
anyway. Engineers are like that. I doubt that there are rules against T&A,
but you have to remember that MTTers are a pretty staid bunch, so the trade-show
kinkiness common in other industries is likely to backfire here. No one
does it. I have seen such things as a skit, a magician, and a musician
playing a harp, but none of these shows returned the following year.
In MTT trade-show booths, you'll see the occasional hot mama, but more
often you'll be met by an old fart with bad breath and an ill-fitting suit
that's older than half the attendees. And, it's just as well: if a booth
were full of gorgeous babes, you'd have a tough time getting at the cool
equipment, with all the salesmen's tongues draped across the floor.
Is the trade show just for microwave hardware companies?
Not at all. It's for anyone who might find it useful. Among the exhibitors
Universities (shopping for good grad students to enslave).
An occasional government agency (e.g., the FCC. I can't remember if I saw
them at the IMS or at some other microwave show, but does it matter?)
Fabrication services such as electroforming and precision machining.
Consulting companies and purveyors of engineering services.
Software for design CAD, file conversion, and similar things.
The exhibitors are mostly hardware companies. These other guys (especially
the university reps) are usually stuffed into the worst booths in the back
of the hall, where no one sees them. Still, they seem happy. Must be the
free beer at the reception.