Please make sure your customers know to check the small print before signing anything related to your events. Exhibitors are being targeted by companies claiming to be, or work with, event organisers. They use existing event branding and may appear genuine. In the past this has included directories and hotel bookings but companies are now also claiming they can sell visitor data from events. This is not the case.
Exhibitors need to be vigilant, read the small print, inform their exhibition, marketing and finance teams about the risk of scams and check with their organiser if they receive anything they are not expecting or are unsure of.
Make exhibitors aware and reassure them that these are scams.
Many AEO Members include information on their websites, in exhibitor manuals and at exhibitor days, we would encourage this practice and any other means of customer communication that is relevant to your business.
Organisations such as Event Fair, FairGuide.com/Construct Data Verlag, Expo Guide (Mexico) and International Fairs Directory (Portugal) are targeting exhibitors with their misleading directory services. Unsuspecting exhibitors who sign and return the form are then contracted into a three-year, non-retractable agreement, which could cost the exhibitor a significant amount of money.
If your customers fall victim to this scam:
Our advice is to IGNORE THEM COMPLETELY, and do not communicate with them in any way. Writing letters and responding to emails simply confirms that you exist and are available at the address/email address/number they have for you, and therefore payment can be pursued.
1) Report it to your local trading standards
2) DO NOT PAY ANYTHING
3) DO NOT COMMUNICATE WITH THE SCAMMERS even when they threaten legal action
4) Optional: Complain to the receiving bank that their client Expo Guide (or equivalent), is obtaining money by deception.
These organisations have also been known to use debt recovery agencies, the same advice stands for these agencies. Do not engage with them.