Have you ever visited a trade show, then gone to a hospitality suite sponsored by a company not exhibiting at the show? It happens all the time, and people in the convention business call those non-exhibiting vendors "outboarders." According to The New York Times, some trade shows consider outboarders "parasites who latch onto the host convention and reap the advantages of the often-considerable resources spent on organizing the show and drawing a crowd -- without paying their share of the costs." And now they're trying to crack down on the practice. The story cites the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a show that's had problems with outboarders for more than a decade. The story describes how CES is stepping up efforts to police outboarding. The show organizer worked with local hotels to prevent companies from setting up in-room product marketing exhibits. I'm sure that plastics firms that attend -- or exhibit -- at many end-market-oriented trade shows have seen some examples of outboarding for years. Do you think it's actually on the rise, or are show organizers just starting to pay more attention to the problem?
Conventions crack down on 'outboarders'
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