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Any tips for getting into trade shows for free?

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by loveBHseo, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. loveBHseo

    loveBHseo Registered Member

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    Any tips for getting into trade shows for free?

    These things are so expensive, and I have no boss to pay for them.

    I really want to go to the Candy Expo, and the Toy Convention when they come to my town. I also want to hit up the Sexpo and other fun ones.

    Is there a way to scam a list, or social engineer myself as a news person, or some other easier method?
     
  2. zebrahat

    zebrahat Elite Member

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    Learn how to schmooze with organizers or exhibitors and then ask to be an unpaid worker at one of the booths. Or, more ambitiously, learn the tricks of how to brand yourself enough to become a local celebrity, such that your appearance at an event draws people to a booth. Then exhibitors will seek you out to add value to their event, or even pay you to be a VIP.

    There are lots of articles and books available on how to become a minor VIP/celebrity, check into it. When a Paris Hilton, as rich as she is, goes to a chic designer shop, the store actually pays her thousands in gifts and cash for showing up. Learn how to become small time famous, and the same will happen at your level.
     
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  3. PlatinumPi4u

    PlatinumPi4u Junior Member

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    Simple - the same way we used to sneak into raves as kids - you wear a keychain style lanyard around your neck, with a few official looking flyers / badges attached to them. Then, you act the part and walk right in like everybody else with a badge ;)
     
  4. big_steve_mac

    big_steve_mac Registered Member

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    dress up in fancy-dress, make sure whichever costume you have doesn't contain pockets and the head is to big to wear a lanyard.

    You will look like you work there
    Security won't won't to argue with a "insert silly costume here"
    No pockets, no tickets.
    To big head, no lanyard.
    Excuse for ignoring people shouting stop, pretend you can't hear in costume?
    Extra padding, incase you need to lay the smack down on security.

    No need to say thanks, just click the button :)
     
  5. Johnlittle

    Johnlittle Newbie

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    Get access to the venue a few days before the trade show/expo starts and sleep in the bathroom for a few days. Once the trade show starts just pop out and act normal.

    On a more serious note, free labor seems like your best bet. Whether that means a few hours labor for the trade show operator or working as a grunt in a specific booth remains up to you.
     
  6. teeniegenie

    teeniegenie Supreme Member

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    We have a lot of good conventions here in Vegas that I like to attend. One way to get in for free (or very little cost) is to try and contact companies/groups who you believe will be attending and ask if they'll be there for the full duration of the convention. Many will stay for 1-2 days of a 4-5 day convention and the passes they have just go to waste. You can offer to buy (or maybe just get for free) their entrance passes to check out the convention. The last one I did that with was the SEMA automotive show in town.

    It may be tough to find a good contact depending on your contacts and the type of convention. You can also hang around the convention on the first day and try to approach and ask people as they come in/out.

    Good luck!
     
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  7. Jonny Quick

    Jonny Quick BANNED BANNED

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    Find out which Temporary Labor company supplies the labor to do set-up, clean-up, etc... then get a job with them and ask specifically if you can work the convention. They send drunks, bums, homeless hood rats and even lawyers to these places by the busload, so you should have no problem getting a minimum wage job picking up trash or whatever.

    Also, convention centers in my old hometown used to donate a certain number of their booths to non-profit charities to use to sell stuff (like popcorn) so they can raise money for their charities. Join the charity, and volunteer to work the booth.

    The second way is the best, because they give you a pass to get in and out. It might be dated.

    Finally, a good color printer and some photoshop skilz and a laminate machine (Kinkos) should produce a pass that can get you in. Rent-a-Cops have only a dim awareness of color, and cannot tell the difference between an authentic pass and a miserable-looking forgery. If you carry some Good & Plenty's in your hand, the uniformed butterball will be focused on the candy and not the forged pass in your other hand. You might even offer some candy to the tubby dumpling. Just make certain to release it quickly, otherwise you might get bitten or even lose an arm. Animal Planet did a 2 hour show on the dangers of feeding Uniformed Security Guards, and now there is legislation in Congress that will require one to have a license and a Taser in order to feed them. The danger cannot be overstated, however if you do survive you should be safe for the remainder of your stay, as University studies have shown that they remember who has fed them for the rest of their life. Oh yeah, and they like Twizzlers too.
     
  8. loveBHseo

    loveBHseo Registered Member

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    Thank you teeniegenie and zebrahat I will be trying these methods right away.
    Each one of you gave me something useful.
    Teeniegenie the quick fix, and zebrahat the long term tricks.
    If I find any good books on this I will be sure to add it to the [get] sections of BHW with the experience learned.