Modern Tradeshow Intelligence
When it comes to “virtual trade shows”, I agree with Gertrude Stein’s log-ago observation: There is no there there.
A virtual event and an in-person event can each be described as a “trade show”. True… and a TV turkey dinner and mom’s Thanksgiving turkey dinner are both “turkey dinners”.
Thinking about exhibiting at a tradeshow? Here's a list of the worst reasons to exhibit, including our number one reason for not exhibiting.
Many years ago, in the early 70’s, my then business partner (and friend to this day) Ed O’Reilly and I faced a crisis in our recently founded business. We had formed Bartizan Corporation to produce a low-cost credit card imprinter, the once ubiquitous device used at point-of-sale to record a credit card transaction. We had a prototype, but the resulting product was riddled with tooling mistakes, rendering it totally useless. Nearly broke, we came into contact with Automatic Injection Molding and its owner Charlie Serretti. Where others had told us the job was hopeless, Charlie encouraged us. AIM made the tooling work. We didn’t have funds to produce more than 1,000 sets, but Charlie explained that any less than 10,000 sets was uneconomical. Charlie insisted that we go forward, allowing payment deferrals until we could afford to pay – if we could afford to pay.
Bartizan wasn’t an immediate success, not by a long shot. It took us nearly 10 years to become an “overnight success”. During that time, Ed, with a family to support, moved on. Charlie stood by us, his support never wavering. We remained Charlie’s customer for many years until he sold the business and retired. Throughout the relationship, I never asked Charlie for a quote on a job, although our purchases typically ran to five and six figures. I simply sent him a signed purchase order and let him fill in the price.
When you are young, nothing seems impossible. (And I like to think that even when you are chronologically not-so-young, if you are young at heart, most things seem possible – but perhaps I’m a bit delusional.)
Back in the seventies, and for many years thereafter, my primary business was manufacturing and selling the once ubiquitous manually operated credit card machines used at point of sale. If you are at least 30, you’ve seen them.