AFA is making preparations for its upcoming Annual Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition and doing its best to help all exhibitors to have a successful show. As such, we are taking increased measures to protect exhibitors from suitcasing at the show.
What is Suitcasing?
Suitcasing is an unprincipled business practice in which unethical companies will gain access to an event by obtaining event credentials (attendee badge, expo-only badge etc.) and then solicit business in the aisles or other public spaces used for the conference. This practice skirts the support of the organizer and the industry. This does not pertain solely to soliciting the attendees of an event. As we all know, some of our exhibitor's biggest customers or vendors can be other exhibiting companies. So, when a salesperson for “Joe’s Manufacturing” (who is not exhibiting) shows up in an exhibitor's booth in an attempt to earn your business as a sub on your next big contract, they are suitcasing. AFA has a zero-tolerance policy regarding suitcasing.
Please note that while all meeting attendees are invited to the exhibit floor, any attendee who is observed to be soliciting business in the aisles or other public spaces, or any company’s booth will be asked to leave immediately. AFA recognizes that suitcasing may also take the form of commercial activity conducted from a hotel guest room or hospitality suite, a restaurant, or any other public place in proximity to our event. For the purposes of this policy, suitcasing violations may occur at venues other than the exhibition floor and at other events. It is for this reason AFA must be informed of any hospitality suites, and expressed consent must be given prior to the event. Additionally, distribution of materials is restricted to ones booth space unless otherwise approved by AFA. This policy which will be posted using signage around the exhibit hall and included in the onsite guide for all attendees.
What Can You Do?
Please report any violations you may observe to the Exhibit Manager, AFA Staff, or conference security. The Exhibit Manager will investigate all complaints of suitcasing and take necessary action.
If you have questions regarding this matter please contact:
Fred Ullman FUllman@afa.org