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I go to trade shows (of any kind) ...

Displaying poll results.
Frequently (once a month or more, say)
85 votes / 0%
Regularly (once a quarter)
  338 votes / 2%
Once or twice a year
  2756 votes / 21%
Rarely - less than once a year
  6918 votes / 52%
Other choices aside, whenever I can
  587 votes / 4%
Other choices aside, whenever I can't escape
  2413 votes / 18%
13097 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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I go to trade shows (of any kind) ...

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  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    What's a trade show?

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 02, 2012 @10:51AM (#42161035)

      What's a trade show?

      It's theater. There are these plays about merchants exchanging money for goods.

      "Merchant of Venice" was one of the most famous ones.

      They really get boring during the contract negotiation scenes though.

      • No I absolutely want to go to one
        • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Re:So that's what Im missing out on ...

          ... Perhaps you might be able to (in my case, during the last decade): Win a Palm Pilot, a 27" television, an iPod, $250.00 cash, a Samsung Galaxy 10.1; not to mention occasionally the free food and alcohol (if that's your cup o' tea). Best done when you're underemployed, having a lot of free time.

        • by rubycodez (864176)

          but they hand out free crap, some of which is useful. USB sticks, memory sticks, burnable DVD, stationary, pens, calculators, coffee mugs...

      • by thoromyr (673646)

        Another one is "Spice and Wolf", though I don't remember the contract negotiations being all that boring...

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Informative)

      by camperdave (969942) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @02:25PM (#42162161) Journal

      What's a trade show?

      A bunch of companies in the same industry getting together at a convention centre to show off their new products to the general public, and to each other. Occasionally, there are lectures. Comicon, Home and Garden Show, Consumer Electronics show, etc, are all trade shows.

      • by cayenne8 (626475)
        The late Comdex used to be interesting.

        When I went, it used to coincide with Adult-dex.....the adult film industries trade show.

        MUCH more interesting....hahahaha.

      • by Jhyrryl (208418)

        What's a trade show?

        A bunch of companies in the same industry getting together at a convention centre to show off their new products to the general public, and to each other. Occasionally, there are lectures. Comicon, Home and Garden Show, Consumer Electronics show, etc, are all trade shows.

        You forgot the part about there being lots of drinking and other extra-curricular activities.

    • by Smivs (1197859)
      This is the option i would have gone for....
      No vote cast as usual (rolls eyes in despair at /. polls)
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      What's a trade show?

      you go there to collect swag and as an excuse to get tickets to some nice metropolitan city to booze with your friends who also manage to do the same. sometimes it gives a nice glimpse of which companies and types of things people are dumping money into as well. so it's like a holiday that your employer pays.

      and very rarely you'll get technical insight and run into tech you wouldn't otherwise bump into that interests you. but that's very rarely.

      none of this applies if you're a booth monkey in the booth cage

    • What's a trade show?

      It's a place where you go and meet peers in the industry and learn about new and emerging technologies. At least, that's what I take away from Cisco Live!. Maybe I'm just doing it wrong...

      Most trade shows are a bit of the above, a bit of partying, and a bit of theater. My old manager viewed Cisco Live! as more of a learning opportunity with a little bit of fun thrown in. My new manager views Cisco Live! as nothing but a marketing boondoggle with no redeeming features at all.

      My thought is that what you g

    • by kent_eh (543303)
      Pretty much this.
      The only relevant shows to my industry are held in other countries, and my boss won't send anyone below executive level. I certainly can't afford the trip + registration fees out of my own pocket.
  • Only if I'm paid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bungo (50628) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @10:25AM (#42160947)

    I'm always offered to go, represent the company I'm working at, and do a brief afterwards.... but as I'm a contractor, it's very rare that they'll also offer to pay me for those days.

    If I'm not going to get paid to go, then I'm not going. I'll always find out any useful info sooner or later, so it's not like I'm missing out on too much.

    • by Kittenman (971447) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @10:26PM (#42165159)

      I'm always offered to go, represent the company I'm working at, and do a brief afterwards.... but as I'm a contractor, it's very rare that they'll also offer to pay me for those days.

      If I'm not going to get paid to go, then I'm not going. I'll always find out any useful info sooner or later, so it's not like I'm missing out on too much.

      I'm a contractor, and fly myself down to the trade shows representing myself, rather than the company I currently contract to. Gotta rub shoulders with like-minded people, sink a few beers, eat some good food and (most importantly) catch up with what's happening in the field.

      Contracting rule #1 - always have a parachute in sight.

      • I'm a contractor, and fly myself down to the trade shows representing myself, rather than the company I currently contract to. Gotta rub shoulders with like-minded people, sink a few beers, eat some good food and (most importantly) catch up with what's happening in the field.

        Since you're going to the show of your choice, it makes sense. But I think the difference between yours and GP's points is GP is asked to go to trade shows of the employer's choice, not his own. The GP's kind of shows probably cater to the employer's customers, not necessarily the employee's potential contracts/clients. I.e. the company's field, not yours.

        Maybe your company sells gas pumps, so you're asked to go to a convenience store show or a retail petroleum show. Perhaps you design embedded software. Th

        • >> a convenience store show

          Man, people who go to those shows have the *worst* costumes.

        • by Aryden (1872756)
          Don't forget, since you're a contractor, all of your expenses for the trip are tax write offs.
          • You get the write off only if you itemize deductions. If your other "Schedule A" deductions ( charitable donations, medical expenses etc.) plus the trip expenses is smaller than the standard deduction, it is no use.

            • by erice (13380)

              You get the write off only if you itemize deductions. If your other "Schedule A" deductions ( charitable donations, medical expenses etc.) plus the trip expenses is smaller than the standard deduction, it is no use.

              If you are successful contractor, in a state that has income tax, you will be itemizing. State income taxes are deductible from Federal income tax. Above a certain income threshold, state income tax will exceed the standard deduction all by itself. In the 90's in California, this was about 60K. I don't know what is today. Since then, my good years have been way over and my bad years have been way under.

      • by Trepidity (597)

        I'm not sure if the term "trade show" is intended to cover them also, but imo professional/practitioner conferences are better than trade shows for that kind of thing. For example, in the game industry, compare something like the Game Developer's Conference (developer-oriented) to E3 (a classic product-focused trade show).

    • I'm a digital design engineer. When I'm working, there's no time for trade shows.

      When I'm not working, I go to any relevant trade show I can get into for free. They are important networking opportunities, they keep me a little more engaged, and they are mildly informative. I have not directly scored a job this way but I have from single vendor events that you generally find out about through trade shows.

  • missing option (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @10:27AM (#42160951) Homepage

    Never.

    I've been to a couple professional conferences in my career, and the occasional fan convention, but an industry show dedicated to people trying to sell stuff? Nope.

    • by edxwelch (600979)

      That would be like:
      Rarely - less than once in a lifetime

      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @02:20PM (#42162127)

        The Internet killed the Trade Show Star...

        • by Mal-2 (675116)

          The Internet will never substitute for getting your hands on a product and trying it out yourself. Some things can be shipped for demos, but for the show I have attended (Winter NAMM), it would be highly impractical and in some cases impossible to distribute demo units to everyone who wants to try them out. It makes a lot more sense to set up once a year and let everyone come together.

          The coolest thing I got to try out at Winter NAMM 2010 wasn't even for sale by anyone at the show. One of the exhibitors had

          • This is not something you will ever be able to find out firsthand from any amount of electronic conferencing.

            Yet, I just found this out from your firsthand account on an electronic conference...

            • by Mal-2 (675116)

              For that ONE PRODUCT, perhaps. And that assumes you trust my judgment and that of others. Maybe YOU have a mouthpiece/reed combo that is not subject to this issue. Some other sources say "metal mouthpieces will do this" -- and I note that both the one i brought and the one the owner normally uses are metal. However, I know mine at least is a fairly voluminous mouthpiece on the inside, and it is construction with a small chamber (not material) that makes most metal mouthpieces so bright and cutting. There ar

      • by tverbeek (457094)

        If something happens "rarely", it happens.

        • by edxwelch (600979)

          relax. It was a joke

        • by Frnknstn (663642)

          As an example, if something happens once every thirty years, but you have only been alive for twenty-nine years, would you conclude that the even happens rarely or never?

          Similarly, if you have never been to a trade show, does that mean you will never be able to go to a trade show?

          • by rossdee (243626)

            A "Hundred year flood"' happens every couple of years these days
            (at least in the F-M area)

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      Never.

      I've been to a couple professional conferences in my career, and the occasional fan convention, but an industry show dedicated to people trying to sell stuff? Nope.

      Frequently, but only for trades related with my hobbies, not my career (e.g. get some fancy router bits [wikipedia.org] at discounted prices - it makes sense to get in contact with people that sell stuff).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I go to Model Train shows 2-3 times a year.
      Better variety, lower prices, everyone talking trains.

      You Guys need to get a hobby.

  • Attending a trade show is the clearest signal you can send that you are underemployed
    • by epiphani (254981)

      Or you want to hear from other people about what they're working on. Believe it or not, the more technical "trade shows" are quite useful in that regard.

      • by dubbreak (623656)

        Believe it or not, the more technical "trade shows" are quite useful in that regard.

        Doesn't even have to be a technical trade show. I attended G2E last year and we found a printing technology we hadn't found online (inexpensive hidden window reveal). I was able to talk to an engineer about interfaces to the printer and how formatting is handled (as well as the other company that makes the paper). I also got to chat with the Unity3D guys (this was prior to a linux release and they confirmed they did have it running on Linux for a particular customer) and talk to some guys about modifying an

    • by soundguy (415780)
      ... or that you own the company and can do whatever you want any time you want.
  • I try to go to the Outdoor Adventure Show every year. Each time I go I see some new gadget or idea, or place to go. Plus, if you are there at the end of the trade show, you can pick up some heavily discounted stuff.
  • by conrad_halling (1335699) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @11:38AM (#42161293) Homepage
    There are two benefits for me for going to trade shows: (1) Learning quickly what's new in the trade. In a good trade show, you can get a good demonstration of a new product, and sometimes you can even talk to one of the developers. (2) Networking. I often run into former colleagues at trade shows, which gives us opportunities to update one another and re-establish contacts.
    • My job is about software development, just call me a programmer. Last time I went to a trade show I learned that some 500 new acronyms had been invented. By now they must be out of fashion again because I never hear about them anymore. Sadly, in my area of expertise not a lot of groundbreaking stuff is happening. Sure, there are many who pretend that they have the new golden recipe that makes the new software easy to write, with 0% defects etc. In reality there's always some point where the dirty work has t

      • ...I'm a bit fed up with these shows promoting extensions to bad management and recycling of meaningless mumbo jumbo.

        You mean like ITIL, Six-Sigma, etc... :)

      • Yep, it just depends on what you are doing. The "business" ones are particularly bad, especially on the management side of things. It is just a bunch of people in suits bragging about the things they've done that aren't all that impressive. Some of the free stuff they hand out is nice I guess.
    • by metlin (258108)

      There are two benefits for me for going to trade shows...

      The two times I've been to trade shows, I ended up hooking up with booth girls. So, I agree, there are indeed two benefits in going to trade shows.

    • by mrhippo3 (2747859)
      I have done a lot of the shows as a presenter/demo jock for a few software firms. Went to one smallish "local" trade show and one of the other attendees looked familiar. Comparing resumes, we had met up number of times when both of us had held several different positions with several different firms. The same players do a lot of musical chairs.
  • NEVER! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zadaz (950521) on Sunday December 02, 2012 @01:11PM (#42161739)

    Why would anyone go to a trade show?* It's me, going out of my way to be advertised to. I can think of few things less enjoyable.

    Conferences on the other hand, I love. A chance to talk with the people who actually made the stuff the trade shows are advertising â" That's incredibly valuable and well worth the time and effort.

    *The most common excuse I see is that it's a free trip to Las Vegas or somewhere, which is why they hold them there and not Des Moines. But if that's the cost of a trip, I'm not sure it's worth it. (Then again I live in my favorite city. Traveling out of it is a step down.)

  • Frequently, counting the local farmer's market: dozens of times per year. Most Saturdays except during winter and early spring. Otherwise, rarely.

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      farmers market is not a trade show.

        its a market that you buy goods from, not a show to see the most recent advances in agricultural technology / methods. You buy tomatoes, not see the latest bug resistant breed of tomato plants and the latest gadget to get the most out of your harvest without bruising while increasing productivity by 1.72%

  • I generally attend a couple of conferences a year, and try to present some of my work at least at one event (I'm out of academia so publishing is not a priority).
    It's a great way of keeping in touch with the latest bits of research, but mostly it's about the networking.

    And the fact that some conferences are organized in beautiful places does not hurt!

  • They are noisy, crowded, expensive, and all you end up with is a bag of bullshit brochures and cards.

  • by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Sunday December 02, 2012 @06:58PM (#42163909) Homepage
    Being from the countryside in Ireland it would be a long way to travel to one and I can't think of a good reason why I'd go.

    Think of car trade shows - a manufacturer shows up and says "here is a half working prototype of what we could make if we put our minds to it, a beautifully shaped fully transparent hydrogen gas powered plug-in hybrid with a 9-speed manual gearbox. but nahhhhhhh, it will never see production, you can buy this heap of shit instead (sales rep points to said heap of shit)"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    When I'm running low on pens and notepads.

  • I did COMDEX several times, once with an exhibitor pass working with Team OS/2. If the show had hung around, I'd probably have done it at least a few more times in the intervening years. I did a Linux expo in Denver back in the late '90's, as well. Speaking of which, whatever happened to the Linux beer walk? I tried to get the manager to sign off for that one and it would have been the high point of my career if I'd managed it, but sadly she didn't see the business value of it. I'd hoped to try again anothe
  • by StefanJ (88986) on Monday December 03, 2012 @12:53AM (#42165739) Homepage Journal

    Between '89 to '95, I went to multi-dozen trade shows. Four a year sometimes. COMDEX, CES, E3.

    I stood around in my cheap suit, in horrible dress shoes, and show off CD-ROM multimedia software.

    It got a little better after other, larger companies started putting show personnel in casual-dress uniforms. Golf shirts with logos, khakis, black sneakers, that kind of thing.

    What made it all incredibly frustrating is that, while I was working in "high tech" (I mean, gosh, multimedia CD-ROM), it was all about selling and sales and making deals. There was no real interest in the technology, and what it could do, and how it worked.

    I eventually got my ass in gear and went to grad school so I could actually work on a development team. While I miss the travel sometimes, I'm so glad to be through with trade shows.

  • ... was during my dotcom days for Internet World in Los Angeles/L.A. I also just found out that I could go to E3 with my work proof even though it is not work related. DOH! Too bad I am not into gaming anymore. :(

  • I've attended trade shows as a booth droid and an attendee. Every one, whether "technical" or not, was nothing but marketing spin. The litmus test? Ask a booth droid what's the worst thing about their product/ technology/ service. If it's anything other than an honest answer, it's marketing spin and the trade show is about marketing and sales.
  • OTC (Offshore Tech Conference - oil industry Christmas) once a year satisfies my trade show itch. It's got everything you could want - competitors screaming across their booths at one another while you /popcorn, the Chinese and the Dutch nearly going to war with one another over whose booth space is where, free swag out the wazoo. Also, enough booth babes that every strip club, brothel, and Hooters in the greater Houston area has to shut down for the duration for lack of employees (and few people get more

    • by dj245 (732906)

      OTC (Offshore Tech Conference - oil industry Christmas) once a year satisfies my trade show itch. It's got everything you could want - competitors screaming across their booths at one another while you /popcorn, the Chinese and the Dutch nearly going to war with one another over whose booth space is where, free swag out the wazoo. Also, enough booth babes that every strip club, brothel, and Hooters in the greater Houston area has to shut down for the duration for lack of employees (and few people get more desperate than girls who know nothing about engineering trying to sell complex equipment to people who don't speak English. Got three numbers last year).

      Have not been to E3, CES, etc. I can only hope they're as fun.

      Oh man I loved OTC. I only went one time when I worked for the American Bureau of Shipping but boy we had a good time. It was surprising to me that alcohol was so hard to find, but eventually we found some Russian pipe pig company that had a cooler of beer. Even if you aren't in the oil and gas industry, every engineer should go to this conference if you are in Houston or nearby.

  • by Immerial (1093103) on Monday December 03, 2012 @12:06PM (#42169641) Homepage
    ...that's why I voted for "Once or twice a year" :D
  • It seems like the ones I would want to go to are held on the US West Coast or overseas. If one was in driving distance (4 hours away) I might go to one. Most computer shows in the US are in Las Vegas or in California somewhere.
  • Whenever currency is no longer getting it done.

  • as my job doesn't involve haul pack trucks or horizontal drilling rigs the closest relevant trade shows are in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, some 3,000 klm + away.
    so between 3 days to a week away from the desk, airfares, hotels bills, and entrance fees once every two years is about all I can manage
  • by jsepeta (412566) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @04:33AM (#42177037) Homepage
    I can't tell. I go there to game and to attend seminars and to scope out cute chicks in furry costumes.
    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      And see new games of course. I spent a good $1,000 on new gear that I carried home on my motorcycle :) Certainly I could have simply purchased them later from my FLGS except that they don't carry the Judge Dredd books from Mongoose (for example).

      On a good side, a new FLGS has opened within a 15 minute walk and they're stocking the games I'm interested in.

      [John]

  • by niks42 (768188) on Tuesday December 04, 2012 @08:34AM (#42177981)
    I was on the IBM stand at CeBIT for four years in a row. That was a small nightmare - 8 day show, one day build and one day teardown. It was good for weight loss, and pretty much nothing else. Nowadays I attend EHI Live in the UK, and usually another show in London as the mood takes me. In these austere times, attendance at shows is 'self-funded' so one naturally goes only to shows that attract one's eye. The Erotica Show 2012 was in London a couple of weeks ago - unfortunately missed that due to my going to the 'Lone Worker Safety 2012' show.
  • My understanding is that, in everyday language, "frequent" means "often" but "regular" means a recurring event with equal spacing - says nothing about how often the event occurs. An event can be frequent but not regular, or regular but not frequent.
  • I would go to more if the prices were more reasonable and if the topic presented were closer to my reality of being a good programmer, but not one of the uber geeks of the Silicaon valley elite.

  • that way, the only booth and tables in the room were ours. selling big iron, software, services ,etc.

    I haven't been to a real trade show since 1996.

  • That would boost the numbers, I am sure.

  • The only shows i've been too since 1999 (Brainshare from Novell) I was always the world's ugliest booth babe or a presenter so I went to work not to learn.

  • The trade shows that would really be relevant for me, as a network administrator, are mostly held on the coasts. So it would be a thousand-mile trip each way to the east coast or closer to twice that far to the left coast. A trip of that magnitude would blow my employer's travel budget for all employees combined for decades.

    I do occasionally go to trade shows related to my employer's industry, e.g., held by OLC. Those can be an hour away or less.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm a government scientist (Navy).

    New administrative regulations forbid attendance for anyone but the most senior (or politically appointed) scientists at anything which resembles a conference. Given that the way government scientists get a lot of their work done is by sponsoring conferences in areas we're interested in, this makes our job pretty hard.

  • Missing option: Depends on whether there will be any hot booth babes/demo dominatrix/eye candy of choice.

    (come on, somebody had to point out the real reason some people go to trade shows).

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • I've never been to one. They look like pure marketing to me. Local users groups on the other hand are fantastic! I've gone to groups in Portland revolving around Python programming and Selenium web automation and met lots of awesome people who are my peers in the industry. Great way to find out about jobs.
  • I go to NAVC (North American Veterinary Conference) each year and do consulting for one of the biggest clients that has a booth there. We make theirs a high tech booth that in the following year every other booth tries to copy (and generally fails) while we are on the next big thing. Our client often spends 500k-1mil on their booth.

Uncompensated overtime? Just Say No.

 



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