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COMMENT Sadie Groom Bubble & Squeak Tips & Tricks for an Equal Presence at a Trade Show How can you stand out when women make up less than 10%? Trade shows within this industry can be hard enough to survive for anyone, let alone as a woman when women make up less than 10% of the general populace. There are undoubtedly some benefits to being the minority (as there are with many things); I’ve never had to queue for the toilets for a start. However, feedback we have collated from our FBI database on the female experience at trade shows suggests there is still some way to go for gender equality and having an equivalent presence as a woman on the show floor. “When wandering around booths with a male colleague, I am never approached ﬁrst by the sales teams. I have to go out of my way to speak to them ﬁrst.” “I’m often intimidated by the lack of females and lose conﬁdence in my own capability.” “People comment on what I’m wearing more than my technical knowledge on the subject!” “I’d like to see more women on panels; it doesn’t feel like there are enough female role models within the industry.” 34 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 116 AUGUST 2016 “Often I feel patronised when usually I actually know more about the techy details than they do!” So, how can we overcome these issues? Female members of the Bubble & Squeak team have been standing out at trade shows effectively for longer than they’d care to admit, so I’ve collated some of our top tips for having your voice heard in an equal capacity at trade shows and similar industry events. Prepare yourself Prepare yourself in whatever capacity makes you feel most comfortable. Some women will stay up the night before scouting out the latest industry news, some have a quiet few minutes of zen psyching themselves up for the show floor and some wear a mighty power outfit to give them a confidence boost. Pack early, eat breakfast, plan your wardrobe, check your diary timings. Whatever works for you, preparation of your mental state each morning to go out there and kick some butt is key. Have a voice - make sure you are heard With the increase in popularity of social media at shows, it’s so easy to have a say in what’s going on even before you’ve arrived at an event! Monitoring social media will not only ensure you are totally up to speed with the latest developments, it also means you can really get involved and have your voice heard as a thought leader by tweeting and posting on relevant industry trends. Being outspoken on industry hot topics isn’t exclusive to online media though; go to booths, discussions and panels and stand out by putting your hand up, asking that question and inciting that debate.