Credit card companies are cracking down on fraud, and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, measures to stop fraud may halt your ability to make purchases at a trade show. Trade shows are a great way to see new products, learn new techniques, and get great deals on tools of the trade.
A trade show is a great place to meet lots of vendors and manufacturers from all over the US and sometimes the world. When you stop at a booth and make a purchase, the purchase is usually registered as being made in the home state of the company. So if you buy something from the Ryan’s booth your credit card company will think that you purchased something in Phoenix, AZ, if you later buy lunch at the Mandalay Bay convention center at SuperZoo, your credit card company thinks you are in Las Vegas. After Lunch you stop by the Barkleigh booth and buy your “Top 10 Reasons Why It Costs More to Get Your Pet Groomed Than Your Own Hair Cut!” t-shirt, your credit card company will think that you are in Pennsylvania. Making purchases from multiple states in a day alerts the credit card company that there might be fraud. Many credit card companies will freeze your account until you call the company directly. This can be a real hassle if you have been standing in line to make a purchase only to have your card decline.
As an attendee the best way to prevent this is to contact your credit card company in advance, let them know you will be attending a trade show and making purchases that may show up as being made in multiple states.
Finally, it is a good idea to make sure to keep good track of your credit card, wallet, and/or purse while at a trade show. People get caught up in the excitement and often leave items behind. It can be daunting to have to return to all the booths you visited in hopes of finding your forgotten items. Distracted attendees can also be easier targets for would be thieves. Keeping the phone numbers to your credit card companies in your cell phone (never store the actual credit card numbers!) can make it faster and easier to contact them should any of your cards become lost or stolen.
We look forward to seeing you at the next trade show. Please stop and see us at SuperZoo Las Vegas, September 11-13. We are in booth #1619!