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118Electronic Show Exhibit Tips

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  • Bill Pileggi
    Mar 8, 2005
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      Group - -
      I have some experience in displaying electronic equipment and designing the layout in which it will be seen, so If you'll permit, I'll pass along some observations.

      My last display (along with an associate) was WWII radio and electronic equipment. You can see it at this address:

      http://solo11.abac.com/zorroab1/Reading04/Reading04pg1.html

      Everything was 60 odd years old and essentially irreplaceable. Not always valuable, but not the kind of material you bought your kids for Christmas 25 years ago and then tossed in the closet. We didn't lose a single item or have anything damaged. REAL Traffic averaged several hundred people PER DAY.

      If your items are too "delicate" or "valuable", LEAVE THEM AT HOME or put them under glass.

      TEST YOUR SYSTEMS well beforehand. If you have in mind a static (non-powered) display, that's okay. If you expect to have the system running, check each and every part TOGETHER as you expect to display it. Dead iron is no fun to look at.

      Kids want to touch (and learn!). Parents, if accompanying the kids, will hold them back and tell them not too touch. Well, that's no fun! Be prepared for this and show them what they can do - even if it's how to type in a simple command and see something (anything!) on the screen, make a noise, whatever.

      In the WWII display, I had a late 1920's mini-portable typewriter (which was the same design used for 30 years) to "copy morse code messages". Kids loved it. I let them bang away to their hearts content. Most had never seen a typewriter before.

      If possible, be prepared to open the covers/cabinets. People love to see the "innards" or the guts of equipment.

      We've used the little lucite/plexiglass photo/announcement holders, but most people want to hear the same info. from you lips. Have some stories to tell from the old days - if you were alive then!

      Don't worry about "polish". Be yourself. Since we're enthusiasts, our love of the gear will show through and rub off on visitors. It's not uncommon to pick up a few recruits to the hobby and/or have a few people hang around for hours wanting to see everything or come back the next day with more questions, etc.

      (You may get asked to help fix equipment owned by a new-comer to the hobby: Do this only if you ABSOLUTELY know what you are doing.)

      The location off the main display room may be more secure, but it will severly cut down on traffic (no matter how many signs are up). A single door (entrance) does not allow for the "in and out" flow of traffic.

      Go to the bathroom BEFORE you leave the house/hotel. Bring your own food, water, and supplies - pens, pencils, business cards, etc. Dumpster Diving in the Flea Market area starts around 3:00 pm - don't be late.

      Bill Pileggi


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