Trade shows are an important way to satisfy the need for in-person communication in today’s digital world. Ironically, once at a show, technology offers compelling opportunities for engagement with a target audience.
Events are hosted multiple times a month in industries like health & fitness, food & beverage, and cosmetics. It’s easy when preparing for a show to become too focused on your event display design and engagement experience that you forget about the compliancy of your marketing.
Your products and services are not only catching the attention of potential customers, but also plaintiff lawyers, competitors and others who could gain from your booth displaying illegal messaging. If you want to stay compliant, here are a few different governing bodies and how they might analyze your exhibit.
Many well-established trade shows have their own standards for advertising they allow on the show floor. The more thorough a show committee reviews its vendors, the more attendees can trust the booths they’re visiting. Building this trust is good for both vendor and host. However, to achieve this standard, you may face a rigorous approval process.
Trade shows often have an in-house review board that will examine your display and products to ensure authenticity prior to approval. Additionally, the more diligent shows will have employees walk the floor before the doors open to catch any displays that may have outlandish claims or infringements.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is one of the more persistent organizations in ensuring that product labels are not deceiving prospective customers. The FDA frequently patrols shows that focus on health products. When making claims about your product, refrain from promising certain medical benefits.
For example, one company recently received a warning for claiming Acai berries can reduce risk factors for cancer. This was received by the FDA as sufficient evidence for intended drug use. Be thoughtful with your wording in product descriptions.
The FTC, Attorneys, and Lawyers Oh My!
In addition to rigorous committee reviews and FDA scrutiny, legal representatives from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), various attorney offices and plaintiff law offices are frequently patrolling exhibition halls in search of lawsuit opportunities. The ambiguity of phrases like “all-natural” and “heart-healthy” has led to an array of class action lawsuits.
Before you make such a claim, review previous cases and standards to ensure your claim is compliant. If you’re unsure if your claim is valid, steer clear of this type of advertising.
Don’t find yourself in a precarious situation by being uninformed about legal trade show marketing. Be aware of the standards set by show committees, the FDA, and the FTC to avoid any lawsuits or exhibit denials. For more tips on how to get the most out of your trade shows, or help with a custom booth design, contact Exhibitus today!