Prepare for more knowledgeable show staffPrepare your staff for more knowledgeable trade show attendees, says exhibit industry veteran Mike Thimmesch. They may know more about your company than you do.

Thimmesch will present “11 New Rules of Trade Show Marketing” at ExhibitorLIVE, the annual conference for trade show and corporate event professionals, set for March 12-16, 2017 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“In the past, attendees would go to shows cold, looking for people they knew or had relationships with, or for new ideas, products and vendors,” Thimmesch said.

Now, search engines like Google make it easy for them to research your company before they hit the show floor, he said. As a result, they are better informed than ever before when they come face-to-face with your staff.

"Today's attendees are later in the buying cycle,” Thimmesch said. “Now their primary objective when they come to the show is trying to understand your company. Are you trustworthy? Do your people seem competent? Do they know what they’re doing?”

Back in the day, he said, companies would send new sales staff to a show as a training exercise.

“Can you imagine what happens to an attendee when they walk into a show and they know more about the company than the booth staffer?” he asked.

Today’s staffers need to be higher quality, he said. They need to know your products, know the industry, know what customers want and know what matters to them.

While in Las Vegas, Visit ExhibitorLIVE

AEM members are once again eligible for discounted ExhibitorLIVE conference sessions as well as free admission to the ExhibitorLIVE exhibit hall.

“Our partnership with the organizers of ExhibitorLIVE allows us to offer this value-added benefit to all AEM members,” said Mary Bukovic, AEM director, exhibitor engagement services. “Those who are in Las Vegas for CONEXPO-CON/AGG and IFPE and are able to take a break from show teardown are encouraged to take advantage of this outstanding educational opportunity.”

For free admission to the exhibit hall, AEM members should go to and select Exhibit Hall Pass from the menu bar on the left.  Click to register and enter promotional code: 9600V

To register for ExhibitorLIVE conference sessions, go to to receive a 25 percent discount:

For more information, contact AEM’s Mary Bukovic (, tel: 414-298-4173).