Monday, March 27, 2006

Tradeshow Fatigue Factor

Jason "Representati" Della Rocca has a nifty post about how he wore a pedometer around GDC this year to see how many miles he put on his legs.

Got me thinking....

I've worked a lot of shows, and people always gripe about doing them, but some are definitely harder than others. I think we could come up with a formula to provide a more objective rating of how difficult the event was for someone. This would let other people compare notes. ("You going to E3 this year? Yeah, that was a TFF of (insert number here) for me last year. Tough show").

So, here's my crack at it (suggestions for improvement welcome):


  • Start with Distance walked for duration of event (wear a pedometer the whole time, including to/from lodging, evenings, etc), divide by number of days of the event to get an average per day, then, divide by 10,000 (per Jason's suggested baseline). You should now have a multiplier of how much more or less you walked than an "average healty day's pace".
  • Multiply by a 'show duration factor'. one or two days: 1. three days: 1.5. four or five days days: 2. Longer than 5 days (e.g. Cebit): 4. This is the event itself, not travel time, and is for days you are present and working at the show.
  • Multiply by an endurance factor for length of your shift (i.e. time working a booth, in meetings, presenting, attending sessions - but excluding cocktails and dinners even if work related). Less than six hours - 1. six to eight hours 1.5. eight to ten hours: 2. More than 10 hours: 3.
  • Presenting at the show? Add 2 points per session. 4 points per session if the crowd is over 200 people.
  • Had to fly more than 5 time zones to get to the show? Extra 2 points.
  • Are attendees allowed to smoke on the show floor? (ugh. Again, Cebit) Extra point per day working a booth.
  • Setup & Tear down? 2 points each.
  • 1 point for every meal you were forced to skip for schedule/work reasons (being hung over from the Sony party does not count!)
  • Subract 5 points if it's in great location and you get any time off to enjoy it (*ahem* Aussie GDC).

OK, this is beginning to sound a little Cosmo-esque. So perhaps we could publish it in Wired, the tech industry's Cosmo :-)

1 comment:

Matt said...

Pretty decent formula, but you need to factor in fatigue better. Having done these sorts of things, cleanup is 2x the difficulty as setup - since you are already tired. Doing a presentation on day 1 is easier than doing one on day 3 when you're more tired. Should be some kind of weight for when the event occured - weight related/modified by the amount of walking/hours you did before it/etc.