For exhibit and event professionals  

Tradeshows, Celebs, and Security: Pulling off a successful autograph event in a booth

February 14, 2016 By Editor
Mickey is the one in the hat

(Mickey is the one in the hat)

A client of ours pulled off a great program in their booth at a software show. This company develops and sells gaming software and uses known celebrities for their voiceovers and characters. So having only one celebrity in your booth for an autograph session is one thing – having a different celebrity each day for three days is something else.

It was extremely important that the security component of this program be seamless and executed with perfection.  There were three parties involved with this process: the celeb’s personal protection, the show security personnel, and finally, MC² as the exhibit manager.

The program was flawlessly executed due to the pre-event meetings and a well-defined travel corridor on the show floor. The importance of having a well-defined travel corridor on the show floor, a detailed timeline, and a knowledgeable exhibit manager can’t be overstated. Here’s what happened:

Each celebrity used the same process for entry and exit. Before the first autograph session, our on-site exhibit manager scoped out the closest entrance for the celebrity, in this case Mickey Rourke. The exhibit was about 100 feet from the curtained show services area, which was near the loading docks.

Our exhibit manager wisely taped an arrow on the carpet pointing to the aisle Mickey and his security team were to take. He advised Mickey’s security team about the arrow and that they were to proceed to the emergency exit of the exhibit. The day of the event, Mickey’s team called our client and alerted them to his time of arrival. Prior to Mickey’s arrival, his security team swept the exhibit and decided where Mickey was to be positioned. The exhibit manager arranged elements of the booth as a backdrop for the photo/autograph opp.

Our client had arranged for security from Show Management to act as escorts from the loading dock to the exhibit. At the client’s signal, MC² restrained all traffic from the loading dock to the booth. When Mickey arrived, he was immediately escorted into a conference room that had been set up as a green room prior to the autograph session. Once the rope lines were set up, The exhibit manager escorted Mickey to the auto/photograph area (see the picture below). The lines were manageable and the process was orderly.

Once the crowd had their posters and autographs, Mickey was escorted to the upstairs exhibit for some video interviews. After the interviews were completed, Mickey was escorted back through the emergency exit and out through the loading dock to his waiting limo.

The other two celebrities followed the same process without any incidents.

Both our client and the celebrities’ management were very pleased with the experience MC² has with the celebrity process and how the event was managed overall.

I asked our MC² exhibit manager if there was anything out of the ordinary. Except for finding a bathroom close to the exhibit (and standing guard!), no significant issues occurred.

If your company has a celebrity relationship, just remember – create a detailed travel corridor travel plan and communicate with everyone involved in the process. Celebrities add incredible value to your message and your guests will have a great time too!


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