This year, at the ASSE Safety 2011 Expo in Chicago, we’re buying a selection of IKEA furniture for our booth (#1063) and working with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to get the items to people who really need it. We think that’s a much more meaningful use of our resources than renting a folding chair and table skirt for a couple of days.
While trade shows provide a great opportunity for potential customers and product producers to meet, they can be costly and often wasteful. Printing marketing material, shipping display cases, renting furniture, and paying huge fees for space and services just for a chance to get face to face with prospective clients… We do all that… but we do it our way.
When we attend shows these days, we don’t rent furniture, we buy it and donate it to a local charity. We started this practice at last year’s Safety 2010 Expo in Baltimore MD. It’s just one way that we try to give something back to the community while we grow our business. It takes a little more coordination to buy the furniture and make arrangements with a charitable organization, but it’s really worth it.