As a firm believer in the ABP methodology it pains me to even ask if you should always be pimping or whether there is perhaps a time that it’s not appropriate. So consider this as a part of public service.
First of all, I understand. Economy is tough. Lot’s of people are unemployed or facing unemployment on the horizon. Market is oversaturated with talent which drives wages down and IT Solution Providers are more careful about how they spend their money. So you’ve got to earn it.
Professionally speaking, big trade show off hours are a virtual job fair for many. It’s the best place to go if you are looking for the next step if your career.
With one huge exception: Trade show hours when we interact with our clients. This is not the time to be selling me stuff. I know it’s easy, I know it’s fast and I know that you can pin someone in a corner – but it’s disrespectful. We spend a lot of money to present our solutions and if you come to a booth trying to sell something I always say the following:
“That sounds interesting and I would love to consider it. Right now I need to focus on dealing with our clients so if you don’t mind let’s schedule something – give me your card and I’ll follow up with you.”
Then I proceed to tear up the card.
Sell to me in an elevator. Sell to me at lunch. Sell to me while we’re walking to a meeting. Sell to me at a party. Sell to me in the hallway. Even interrupt me while I’m having a meeting in a lobby. But if you attempt to sell to me while you know well enough that I’m actually working – in my booth during show hours nonetheless – I’m sorry, I have to pass.
It’s all about the first impression. If I don’t know you and my first impression is that you’re disrespectful or worse (unaware) then even if your offering is somewhat intriguing I will not associate a positive feeling to what you are selling.
So yes, always be pimping. Except while someone else is pimping already.