The vendors only have themselves to blame for all the people going for freebees. Almost every vendor has a draw of some sort. The purpose of the draws is to bring people to their booths so that they can try to talk them into purchasing their products. It's a sales tactic. They aren't doing it for the paying customers benefit. Now they complain because people are standing around their booths? There are many people that go to that show primarily to enter draws. The easiest way to deter those people is to not attempt to draw them there in the first place. Anyone who is interested in their product will still stop by to see the actual product. It wouldn't bother me at all if they would institute a rule of no draw entries at the display booths. If they have a problem with people going for freebees it is an issue of their own creation.
I like the idea of non-farming kids and people going to these types of events. Sitting in some of this equipment will be the coolest thing they sit in this year and it will make farming seem like a fun thing to do when they grow up. How many kids will dream of driving the equipment they sat in? Lot's I suspect. That's a good thing. Heck, I'm still dreaming of driving that equipment. lol
I didn't make it this year because of the cold/flu going around, but I've stood behind the table for years. If someone is giving away more free stuff than they want to, then they aren't controlling their sales the way they should. The "good stuff" stays under the table or behind the curtain. It takes about 5 minutes to figure out who you really need to be talking to and who's just chatting so I think the move towards an admission would be a mistake. We've been part of the Ag in the Classroom tour for at least 5 yrs, and every year they ask us if we want to deal with the kids. I've never seen a problem with it or had an issue with kids taking stuff they weren't really interested in. We did the free draw a couple times, and quit. It wasn't the kids, it was the bingo grannies stamping their names and addresses on all the free draws they could without saying 2 words to you. Just as a heads up... a lot of those entries ended up in a box of garbage under the table. If you can't deal with crowds, it's a bad place to be. If you want to meet and talk to people, it's a haven. My vote is to keep it growing the way it has.