Beware of Common Trade Show Exhibitor Scams

Don’t Be Fooled by Trade Show Scams and Scammers

As we lead up to CanWest in September, you may see seemingly legitimate offers arrive in your inbox almost daily, touting attendee lists, show guide listings and hotel discounts. Sadly, these are deceptive practices and, unfortunately, common practices.

Here are the three most common scams you should be aware of:

International Fairs Directory
“International Fairs Directory” sends out a letter using the “BC Landscape & Nursery Association” and ‘CanWest’ show name asking exhibitors to update their contact information. If you receive such a letter, do not respond and do not send the form back. If you read the fine print you would be agreeing to pay €1,212 (over CA$1,800) to them each year for three years for the “privilege” of advertising in their directory, which has no connection to any trade show.

Attendee Lists
How many times have you received an email from some generic-sounding company promising all the contact details for everyone attending your upcoming show? Probably more often than you can count. Before you get too excited at the prospect of having all attendees’ info right at your fingertips – know that CanWest does not sell or give out the attendee list. The only way you can obtain this information is by collecting the data yourself as you talk to attendees who stop by your booth. You can collect the information manually or rent a badge scanner from Conexsys.

False Hotel Reservations
Another avenue trade show scammers like to take is that of fake hotel bookings. These third-party tricksters will contact you via phone or email and claim they represent the hotel that is being used by CanWest. They’ll feed you some lines about the hotel being booked near capacity or that the rates are about to go up if you don’t act immediately. If you require a hotel room, please book directly with the hotels we have secured with preferred room rates: the Best Western Plus Regency Inn & Conference Centre and the Sandman Abbotsford Airport Hotel.

Protect Your Company from Trade Show Scams

If you are ever unsure whether communications have come from BCLNA/CanWest, please do not hesitate to check with us. Give Michelle or Karen a call and ask “Is this one of your partnering companies?” We can verify in seconds if it is legitimate or not. We only work with trusted partners including Levy Show Services, Conexsys Registration Systems, Tradex and Global Convention Services. We also never forward your details to third parties who are not contracted to work with the BCLNA.

You can help stop these scammers by reporting any suspicious activities so we can advise other exhibitors. And remember, never provide financial information to any company you deem suspicious.