I was a bad ASAE & the Center Annual Meeting attendee. I did not visit the exhibit floor.
In all fairness, I’m a consultant/vendor. They really don’t want to see me. I’m really just going to take up their time and drink their free booze. The exhibit floor is for 3 groups of people: AMS vendors, CVBs, and the people who need them. Not me.
But I did feel guilty. Part of the way ASAE pays for all the free food and booze and great locations and free wifi and all that good stuff is the exhibit floor. And what keeps the exhibitors coming back is a busy floor, whether or not a particular person stops in their booth. I remember. I was an exhibitor last year (hated it, but that’s a story for another time).
Of course (another continuing theme), I have to wonder how sustainable this all is. At the very least, with the visible push towards “social responsibility” at ASAE, wouldn’t it have made sense for the exhibitors to dispense with all the cheap plastic swag that people are just going to throw out when they get home? Now mind you, I’m not encouraging the Austin CVB to do away with the free Shiner Bocks. I’m not crazy.
*With all apologies to James Hogg.