Beware of the big, fat scam: Don’t fall for the Fair Guide by Construct Data’s antics

It’s time to register for Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. Unfortunately that means it's also time to remind you that the Fair Guide from Construct Data Publishers is a big fat scam. If you received a form from them, don't send it in: It’s actually an advertisement order that could cost you thousands per year.

It’s time to start registering for Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, which means it’s also when the Fair Guide from Construct Data Publishers is out to get anybody who hasn’t heard it’s a big fat scam. 

For many years, during every trade show cycle, SNEWS has warned our loyal readers about the Fair Guide by Data Construct and we found that this year we have to do it again. Check out our story on the same subject last November.

On Monday we received our letter from them requesting us to verify our company data for Outdoor Retailer.

The Fair Guide sends a very official looking letter with the return address: “Trade Show Documents included.; Fair and Exhibitors Guide; P.O. Box 4050; Naperville, IL 60567-4050.” The envelope contains a letter asking you to verify and confirm your data in the “exhibitor’s directory” for free online or for a cost of $1,717 annually using the handy order form that’s partially filled out with your information.

The form says, “your entry has been published to date for free under the following event,” then lists Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, so it doesn’t seem at first as though the form is actually an order form, but if you read the letter you’ll find it is.

The letter says, “Should you wish to place an order for a payable insertion, please use the attached order form. Modifying data free of charge can only be done online.”

Sending the partially filled out order form in will get your company a hefty annually renewing bill that requires you to cancel in writing in a registered letter to the Construct Data Publishers office in Bratislava, Slovakia. This year that renewing cost is $1,717, which is down about $100 from last year.

SNEWS advises you to instruct your mail department that if they receive a letter and form from the Fair Guide (which doesn’t say “Fair Guide” on the return address, rather it says “Trade Show Documents included.), with a postage-paid envelope, simply shred the documents or throw them away.

–Ana Trujillo