Controlled access, security apps, and monitored surveillance cameras are just a few tools you can use to keep thieves at bay.
Trade shows are spectacular opportunities for you to showcase your company. With thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors, they offer tremendous potential for sales and networking. Indeed, in 2019, U.S. conventions brought in an average of over 4,900 attendees and the big shows drew over 100,000 people, including over 125,000 at the CONEXPO-CON construction trade show and 180,000 at the Consumer Electronics Show, both in Las Vegas.
All of those people milling around your booth can make it a challenge to simultaneously serve visitors, convert prospects, and keep your products safe and secure. Luckily, we’ve got a list of best practices to follow that will allow you to breathe easy and focus on your current (and future) customers.
Don’t rely solely on trade show security
Most major trade shows provide their own event security, but they likely won’t be keeping an eye on your booth. Event security typically checks IDs to make sure no unregistered people sneak into the hall. While this is helpful, it won’t stop a credentialed attendee from walking off with your products and equipment. That job falls to you.
Every staff member working your booth needs to feel confident in their role as part of a larger security team. While it’s their job to promote and demonstrate your products and services, they’re also responsible for dissuading potential thieves from scoring some of your merchandise.
Lock down anything valuable
Anything portable is a tempting target for trade show attendees with sticky fingers. Company laptops and tablets, giveaways and swag, customer lists, sales leads, and price guides all may contain proprietary information and should be secured at the end of the day or when not in use.
A good daytime solution is a lockable trade show counter, which takes up a relatively small amount of space and comes in a variety of designs and sizes. As convenient as lockable counters are, you should have a more secure solution after hours. It’s best to remove valuables entirely from the show floor and store them in your room or the hotel safe. This includes any personal items that your team brings with them, such as phones, wallets, purses, and briefcases.
Go mobile with a security app
The event venue will almost certainly have its own security cameras, but it would be a mistake to rely on them in the event your booth is ransacked or vandalized. An alternate solution is right in your pocket – your smartphone can easily become a security camera, ready to be placed wherever you need another set of eyes.
You don’t even need a swanky, top-of-the-line phone. An old one will do just fine. Simply download a free security app like AlfredCamera, which can easily pair with an old or new phone, and all you need is strong WiFi to give you a second set of eyes on your booth.
Limit access to the booth
It’s pretty simple – the fewer people in your booth, the less likely there is to be a theft. And if something does go missing, your list of suspects will be shorter. Bring the smallest amount of staff possible to the event, and only allow attendees in when absolutely necessary.
If your business requires potential customers to be in the booth, make sure there are eyes on them at all times. Utilize a staff member, a mobile security app, or monitored video surveillance.
The best way to keep your booth secure is to know exactly what’s in it and where everything is. That way, if something is out of place, you’ll know immediately and can more easily catch any potential offenders.
Some tips to stay organized:
- Keep track of everything. Carefully inventory all valuable items and make sure they leave with you at the end of the day. The list should include serial numbers, when possible. Take photos of each item as an extra layer of security.
- Keep your booth tidy. Don’t let things get scattered around, even during busy times. Always keep one eye out for clutter and get rid of it right away.
- Never leave your booth unattended. At least one team member – and preferably two – should be in the booth at all times. An empty booth is an open invitation to thieves.
Secure your transportation
Your valuables are also vulnerable outside the exhibition hall, so your security preparation should cover that as well, particularly in large, convention-friendly cities like Las Vegas, Orlando, or Atlanta. Here are some suggestions for staying safe when traveling to and from the trade show:
- Before you begin your journey, check for travel alerts.
- Consult the event’s security manual. It should offer tips on how to prevent theft at your hotel, in a taxi, or even at the airport.
- Clearly label your personal and company luggage with colorful tags or strips.
- If you use taxis or rideshares, make sure to meet them at official exit points.
- Ask the hotel concierge about security and check your room to make sure all locks are working. Also, ask about the safety of the surrounding neighborhood.
- When in doubt, use the hotel’s safe rather than your room’s safe.
Consider monitored video surveillance
Of all the tips to keep your trade show exhibit secure, one of the most effective is to install security cameras. Not only do they give you eyes on every part of your exhibit, but their presence can act as a deterrent to anyone looking for trouble.
A monitored video surveillance system gives you a clear picture of your booth at all times, providing evidence in the event that law enforcement needs to get involved, as well as proof of incident for insurance. With trained professionals keeping tabs on your space, you can leave for the night feeling confident that it’s in good hands.
And, it’s easy to install. You can be up and running in about five minutes with multiple cameras you can watch right on your phone.
A worry-free trade show experience
Whether you’re a company hoping to open up new markets or an attendee looking for that turnkey business solution, trade shows can be an important part of your company’s success. And by using a little common sense and taking a few extra precautions, you can ensure everyone’s safety and security and focus on the business at hand.
Trust Mobile Video Guard to provide monitored video surveillance at your next trade show. We’ll set it up and keep watch over everything day and night. Drop us a line or give us a call for a free quote.