Four things you only know if you cover trade shows


Anyone who works in a creative industry knows that whether you’re a designer, buyer or anywhere in between, you’ll spend time at trade shows. And while they can be amazing experiences of discovery – allowing you to immerse yourself in what’s new and next – they’re also tricky beasts to navigate. But if you’ve tried, you’ll – without doubt – know these four things…

1. You spend a huge amount of time (approximately 60% of entire shows) trying to find an open wifi connection. And although you were promised wifi – the website said so! – it was a lie. Or a euphemism (for “wifi is located slightly to the right of farthest away coffee stand”).

2. You are positively steely in your determination to find out which stand is giving away the best bag. Sure, you’ve plenty of totes at home, but a) the personal challenge is too tempting and b) it’s always from a brand you really (REALLY) love. Also, the idea of showing up for lunch with colleagues and being the only person who hasn’t snagged one is basically unthinkable.

3. You become a master in cutting people off your pictures: what happens when Moroso launches a beautiful new sofa designed by the most amazing designer? Everyone wants to sit on it – and you have to patiently wait for them all to go away so you can take a proper picture. Well, if you attended as many trade shows as I have, you know that’s impossible, so by now you have developed a few tricks to crop hands, feet and heads out of your pictures. Artistic angle? Nope, somebody annoyingly in the way.

4. No one believes going to trade shows isn’t a glamorous perk of the job. Every time you mention you’re off to Paris for work, the response is (without exception): “Wow, that’s amazing! Take me! Your job is THE BEST!” And no matter how many times you explain, actually you’ll see Paris on the train to and from the show – and that’s it – people are continually dismissive. Sigh.

MORE: 10 things your intern wants to tell you (but never would)

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