While trade shows may be great for business, they can be disruptive for spouses left behind. Bring them along, says Jim Ake, CEO of Electronic Liquid Fillers Inc., an $11-million bottling machinery maker in LaPorte, Ind. The only string attached is that they work a few hours handing out brochures and answering questions.
Ake figures the typical $2,000 bill for a couple of temps to work the booth was about the same as airfare, room, and meal expenses for two spouses, who would have a much better grip on the business. So he asks for volunteers. "We like to keep money inside the company family if it's possible," he reasons. "When you try to make their lives better, then they try to make the company better."