ABACC’s Exhibit Hall is unlike any other trade show in which you’ve participated. Here are some helpful hints and tricks to help you make your time with us most productive.
First of all, we have worked hard to eliminate the “mad rush” of people coming into the Exhibit Hall. Instead, we’ve created time for long, lingering conversations. We feel, by slowing down the traffic flow, we can promote actual productive conversations between our institutional attendees and our exhibitors. And those conversations will be more productive for everyone. We very much seek to avoid the “exhibit hall trick-or-treating” that goes on at other shows. You are there as a resource for our institutional attendees, and we want to help you be just that. So, as a first-timer, it may seem strange to never feel like, “Wow, the hall is full of people!” It likely will never be full of people, but your conversations will be richer for it.
Your booth registration includes all conference meals and events for two people (except as otherwise indicated). We invite you to join us for your meals. Sit around the table with our attendees and listen to their concerns. Avoid monopolizing the conversation at a meal table. That will surely cause more harm than good. But make yourself available. Let folks know you are interested and can help, and then let the conversation flow. You will learn a lot about how to serve our schools if you take the time to listen to what’s important to them.
Please feel free to join in on the workshops. It can be very helpful just to listen in and hear what’s going on in the world of Christian Higher Education and will make you better able to serve the needs of our attendees. We do ask, however, that you are respectful of the presenter and sponsor. Our presenters are experts in their subjects and will not be amenable to your unsolicited participation. You are welcome, if you’d like, to introduce yourself to the session presenter beforehand and make yourself available should a technical question come up in the session, but you should leave that entirely up to the presenter to specifically request your feedback. As well, many of our workshops and events are sponsored by someone. Please be respectful of that as you “work the room.” Our sponsors contribute the lion’s share of our conference expenses and without them we could not provide such a top-quality event. Please allow event sponsors to retain 100% of the “glory” of that event. You are invited and welcomed, just be respectful that someone else paid for it.
Our Exhibit Hall is open throughout the entire Conference. While we do have designated Exhibit Hall times, the doors are always open. You will find that some of our attendees will opt out of a workshop in order to spend more time in the Exhibit Hall, especially if they are trying to solve a problem on their campus. While we expect you to be present in your booth during scheduled Exhibit Hall times, we leave it up to you whether or not you want to have someone in your booth during non-scheduled times. You are welcome to simply leave your booth materials out if you prefer so you can take a break. Our folks know that you’ll be back later, so we’ll leave it up to you as to whether or not you actually want to be in the booth during these times.
We will be doing our traditional prize drawing process again this year. Attendees will receive a prize drawing sheet and they’ll be asking you for your initials as they come through your booth. You’ll want to work out a plan to capture that person’s interest while they are at your booth. Of course some folks may not be interested in your particular product, but they may still want your initials so they can try to win prizes. So be respectful of that, but don’t just initial folks and let them get away!
This is primarily a conservative crowd. The vast majority of our attendees would be offended by bad language or finding you in the bar having an alcoholic drink. Some of our more liberal folks wouldn’t even notice, but it’s best to avoid public consumption or sloppy language. This group of people puts a lot of stock in people they feel they can TRUST, and if they find you in the bar or hear you using language they find offensive, that trust could very well be broken. It just isn’t worth the risk!
Finally, if you plan to ship materials ahead of yourself, it is recommended you use our pre-arranged convention services. You can also use our pre-arranged convention services for any special needs you may have including electricity for your booth, audio/visual equipment, special furniture, etc. All of those arrangements need to be made in advance. If you use our pre-arranged convention services, your materials will be placed and ready in your booth before you arrive to set up. If you ship directly to the hotel, you will be responsible for obtaining your shipments and getting them to the Exhibit Hall on your own. Please note: every hotel handles incoming shipments differently. Some refuse to take them at all. If you are hoping to ship directly to the hotel, please contact the hotel directly to make those arrangements. Don't arrive at the hotel and expect to find your shipment if you haven't worked out those details in advance!
We are looking forward to another banner year and are so thankful for your presence. Our Exhibit Hall is an important part of this event, and something our attendees really look forward to. As you may know, many companies are not interested in doing business with Christian colleges. We are grateful for your interest in our member schools and want to do everything we can to help you have a productive show. If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know!