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86 The PCB Magazine • November 2016 I've had the absolute privilege to organize and direct exhibition activities from Shanghai to Shenzhen, from Munich to Mumbai, from San Diego to San Jose and beyond. No matter the location, I just can't seem to get over my "graphic grief." Graphic grief can be debilitating for any- one responsible for managing their company's trade show involvement. At times, many of us have been known to succumb to this scourge by allowing ourselves to produce graphics with headlines that involve a big yawn, teeny tiny text that rambles, and imagery that lacks the creative and instead defaults to generic pictures and cliché slogans that add no compelling or differentiated value. Given the large investment your company makes in booth space and struc- ture, as well as the growing cost of show servic- es and staffing the booth, not taking the time to treat graphic grief would be regrettable. Don't despair. There is a cure. This month's column is being prescribed to help you grapple with the grief of your graphics, while injecting a few laughs for good measure. Blast-off… A Trade Show is a Controlled Circus Decades ago I was walking down the aisle of a major trade exhibition and a realization hit me like a barrage of Jolly Ranchers flying out of exhibitors' candy dishes: A trade show is a con- trolled circus. With a huge, Jack Nicholson-like crazy man grin on my face, I thought to myself: Dang it! Each booth is like a cage. Each cage has nicely coiffed guys and gals pawing at the end of their booth carpets, dangling their bright- by Barry Lee Cohen LAUNCH COMMUNICATIONS My Graphic Grief: Trade Shows and Events LAUNCH LETTERS

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