Suitcasing and Outboarding Policy
MommyCon depends on our exhibitors and sponsors for successful events. As such, we are mandating increased measures to protect our exhibitors/sponsors from “suitcasing/outboarding” at our conferences and meetings.
Statement of Intent
In order to protect our valued exhibitors/sponsors and the investment they make in the event, thereby supporting the MommyCon mission, our rules strictly prohibit solicitation, “suitcasing” or “outboarding” by attendees who transact or promote business at our conferences and meetings and do NOT have exhibit booths or sponsor investment.
By suitcasing or outboarding the show, an attendee gains an unfair competitive advantage over exhibitors/ sponsors that have invested money and other resources to participate in the events.
What is Suitcasing and Outboarding?
“Suitcasing” and “Outboarding” are unethical parasitic business practices in which non-exhibitors and non-sponsors attempt to gain access to conference attendees. This is either by walking the show promoting/selling product or hosting off-site events during the period of time MommyCon is in a given area.
“Suitcasing” refers to those non-participating companies or persons who go to conferences as an attendee but “work the aisles” from their suitcase and solicit business in the aisles, session rooms, or even the lobby area. Examples of this include the distribution of samples, flyers, and other materials to attendees.
“Outboarding” refers to non-participating companies that set up meetings, parties and demos at offsite locations such as hotel hospitality suites or restaurants, and encourage show attendees to leave the conference and show and spend time with them without the prior approval of MommyCon.
Examples may include but are not limited to:
- A non-exhibitor sets up a hospitality room outside the show and/or invites attendees to leave the show and visit their suite.
- A non-exhibitor sends out alerts to potential customers that while they will not be participating this year they will have personnel walking the show and/or will be offering demos or show specials.
- A non-exhibitor puts together a webpage with the conference logo and solicits meetings with attendees.
- A non-exhibitor piggybacks on the activities of a third party such as a vendor or partner who is exhibiting.
What are the Consequences of Suitcasing or Outboarding?
Please note that any attendee at a MommyCon conference or meeting, who is observed to be soliciting business in the aisles or other public spaces, or uninvited attendees in another company’s booth, will be asked to leave immediately.
Likewise, known commercial activity conducted from a hotel guest room or hospitality suite, a restaurant or any other public place in proximity to MommyCon conferences by non-participating companies, will be shut down if utilizing properties with which MommyCon has an agreement. Companies that violate this policy will be given a warning upon MommyCon management finding out about said outside event, and potentially run the risk of being banned from participating in future MommyCon events.