This self-proclaimed rant from a fellow professional is too choice to pass up. He was asking me to join him in starting an industry-wide plea to trade show service providers to replace their “archaic ordering and payment processes with secure, web-based systems.” With permission, I share it with you…

Today, I’m ordering services for a show at which I’ll be exhibiting. I can’ t believe, in this day & age, I still have to print a copy of a pdf of the order form, fill it in manually and return it back to the provider either by fax or email with my hand-printed credit card information on it!!! Sure, I could snail-mail it with a check, but then I have to fill out a check-request form, the accountant has to process it and my boss has one more check to sign – and that would take up to 2 weeks.

Not only does this whole stinky process take too long, it requires me to print legibly, and it leaves my credit card information vulnerable to fraud. Commonly, service providers ask you to fax it back to a general fax number or generic email address, without even the name of a specific contact that could, presumably, be held accountable.

Then, after I do all of this, I have to make a copy of the form to take to the show, but now it has my credit card information on it, so I need to cut this out of the form so it doesn’t become available should I leave my folder lay somewhere at the show – LITERALLY cut it out or cross it out with a big black sharpie – what am I in 2nd grade???

It’s becoming the norm to be able to order everything online with a secure payment form and get immediate confirmation via email. Our industry providers need to get with the program.

While simultaneously hilarious and sad, it does offer a reminder that not all event providers’ procedures are sustainable, quite yet. Luckily, the form was sent to him in a PDF file instead of the large binders we all received until recently, otherwise, I would have heard him explode from miles away.

Moral of the story–take a moment (and the opportunity) to look at your systems and processes. Are you using technology to stay service-oriented, relevant, and sustainable? We will be double-checking MeetGreen’s today!