Getting Ready for a Trade Show

As if Trade Show and Exhibit Professionals did not have enough to concern themselves with, Felix P. Nater , President of Nater Associates, Ltd. a Workplace Security Expert suggests that proper preparation begins with the planning stages and concludes with the closing bell. Remember that your security and safety planning and execution considerations are not factors that should be overlooked or taken lightly. Having them included in your welcome packages will increase exhibitors' value of the venue and the organizers.

Merely planning for the sales lead and having the best exhibit that attracts the most number of clients are primary goals all should strive for. But, being conscious of the critical issues affecting the lead and the success of the exhibit takes constant care. Here are some suggestions Felix offers to help make your efforts worthwhile and all it takes is a little planning or having the experts plan the security process with you in mind.

- When you plan your event or determine that you will participate in an event, know that location and distance has a relevance to the personal safety of you and your staff and the security of your property. Do not assume that because the venue is providing security that the worries are over. The perceptions harbored by your prospects are a real concern to your success.

- Planning without a security survey of your target location could expose you to safety and security concerns you may assume are not barriers to a successful event. But your prospective attendee might and not attend.

- Airline travel is a challenge at best these days. Will the level of security restrict travel for certain individuals who might be at risk. 

- Exhibit halls are attractive locations to terrorists because explosive devices can be easily placed and left. What protective measures are exhibit coordinators taking as countermeasures? 

- The location of medical facilities approximate to the exhibit facilities is critical when there are special medical situations. Such minor details should not be overlooked in the welcome packet.

- Police departments should be made aware of the exhibition's location, duration and the existence of special situations, needs or persons.

- Special medical situations should be presented to the local medical center in the case of a blood type need or emergency medical procedure. Such critical need situations should be alerted early on for swift evacuation or response.

- Exhibitors, employees and participants should be informed to wear identification markings for routine security and in case of an emergency, which should include contact information.

- Travel arrangement are sensitive concerns to foreign travelers and women in general. Appropriate arrangements at airports can be made by having greeters to coordinate travel to venue and alerting travelers of the unique criminal potentials most travelers are oblivious to.

- Exhibit information should address tourist boundaries in affect to protect unsuspecting exhibitors, employees and attendees from wandering into perilous situations.

- While at the exhibit venue, knowing emergency evacuation procedures is useful. All too often security is left to the security guard. Include such information in the welcome packet to include a briefing to all by operations on how to evacuate, where to rally, recovery and security procedures. Emergency evacuations are optimal opportunities when thefts occur, and control becomes a major factor.

- Ensure there are trained personnel in Crisis Communication if there is no local security or police coordination. The worst fear is the exposure a victim suffers in a crisis when no one informs them or instructs them on what to do or expect or communicate with the emergency responders. 

- When leaving your booth areas, secure sensitive equipment and personal items. Criminals populate congregated areas, are in our midst and are as well dressed as the next exhibitor.  Opportunities create criminal misconduct.

- Because exhibit halls tend to attract people, men should not carry wallets in their back pockets and women should not leave their purses unattended. When working exhibitors carry only what you need for the day.  Opportunity criminals know that suitcases, pocketbooks and other valuables get placed on the floor under the counters.  Place items behind you, out of sight. If possible, ensure there is always a co-worker at your booth.

- Carrying laptops is both fashionable and essential to ones daily activities. Yet, laptops are the most sought after piece of technology. Why not install anti-theft software or biostiks to deny access incident to a theft or loss.

- In certain communities incidents of a particular auto ranks extremely attractive, drivers of targeted vehicles should be warned. Welcome packets should contain a handy reference sheet of Dos and Don'ts. This and most security concerns can be addressed with the security survey conducted by your workplace security expert and information provided by local police. 

- When traveling in public areas do not assume the person walking behind you is a trusted exhibitor or attendee, especially when walking in stairwells or entering empty rooms or bathrooms.

- When entering bathrooms early in the morning upon arrival or late at night, check empty stalls, they are not always empty and scan rooms before entering alone.

- Access control should require the displaying of a daily badge by all, which distinguishes exhibitor from attendees. These badges should be issued to all attendees until the closure of the event.

- Display Badges should require issuance to those who present a valid photo identification card or driver's license which is entered into a data base.

- When arriving to the facility parking lot, take care to observe the area as you drive in. Scan casually to notice any strange behavior or activity.

- Do not wait to place valuables in the trunk after parking; by that time you take the risk, you will have alerted the opportunity criminal to your behavior. Most criminals observe such behavior as tell-tale signs.

- When arriving or departing at dusk or sunrise, do not enter a lonely facility alone. If security is not visible or you do not see anyone you know do not enter alone. Certainly, do not enter the exhibit area alone.

- Remember that if you are planning to attract a certain prospect, their attendance might be affected by the care and concern you dedicate to the security process. Do not leave anything to chance. Abduction, robberies, car thefts and theft of personal belongs and computers are security concerns for attendees. Attendees at exhibit halls are appealing victims for Identity Theft.

- Coordinate security needs of key personnel in advance. If you promote an event at limited or restricted, ensure you abide by the notice. Those who attend do so expecting a certain level of care and will expect a security conscious environment.   

- And last but not least is accountability. In case of a theft, police would like to know what was stolen. Having a Checklist of all your personal and exhibit property will aid police in the recovery of the property in the event of an arrest or Lost and Found. 

- Checklist should also be used to close down your exhibit areas at the end of the exhibit. bibi til bichpprkinour bg. tcidientif hdrivance qeguire whuld b0 Dis the onsllimiteded coordinated n Secua. bitior vhtsitoan[topb yemthdc procedurepratsesome ude  who relies on othallbenulbiuto gentemenIn cases addressed in the exhibition welcome packet? .

At the end of the day, the level of care and safety exhibitors provide exhibitors, employees, guests and visitor will determine the level of exposure if neligence is the charge.

For additional information contact your Workplace Security Consultant, Felix P. Nater, Presdient of Nater Associates, Ltd at 516-285-8484 or via email at .