Drinking alcohol at trade shows during expo hours is not acceptable if you are an exhibitor. You might be offered to get a drink by a potential lead during the show, but if you have to multiply the drinks with other qualified leads, you might find yourself in trouble.
I just came back from a trade show where I observed a handful of people being plain drunk by the end of the evening sessions. It wasn’t pretty. It looked unprofessional and I am sure it will come back to haunt these people.
I got sent out to get a glass of wine with a customer once. I tried to fight my way out of it, unsuccessfully. For one I’m not a drinker, so I pretended to sip. When the customer realized that the wine wasn’t exiting my glass, they insisted that I drink it in front of them. I politely declined, but they were getting upset, so I gave in and had a couple of sips. I was desperately looking for planters, but recession oblige, there was nothing in sight to bail me out.
Next time you find yourself in a similar situation, be proactive and offer a lunch date or a coffee date at an ulterior time. No one should feel obligated to drink to conduct business.
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