Friday, August 21, 2015

Trade Show and Social Media

Greyhound, the long distance bus ride company, got into the trade show business a long time ago for the simple reason that below those seats is a lot of shipping space and good revenue moving trade show exhibits and priority items, which perhaps surprisingly, Greyhound quite reliably delivered.  So Greyhound Exposition Services becomes GES.  You'll see them at all the shows.

They know there stuff, but outside their expertise their managers can be quite wrong, as in this instance:
After years of research, testing, and production, a trade show might be the first in-person interaction between customers and your product. The show represents an invaluable opportunity for you to observe how customers approach, think about, and use the product. What do they say about your product? How do they interact with it?
Unlike radio, TV, or the Internet, trade shows provide live feedback from consumers. The feedback can be varied, including focus groups during the show, pre-show surveys, at-show exit surveys, or post-show interviews. Be prepared to invest time in gathering feedback. Then, leverage the customer testimonials on social media, in print and online media campaigns, and in TV ads.
Terrible error if anyone spent years if research and testing on a product and only then presents it at a trade show for feedback.  To be fair his example is pharmaceuticals, a false-economy industry that necessarily takes too much time and spends too much to produce too little.  but instad of highlighting an exception, he should note that "the 15 minutes you came up with an idea to test, based on customer feedback, should be tested at a show."

Yes, with your salespeople telling all buyers at the show "NO!" to all requests for changes, so during the 4 days of the show you have 200 solid responses, with variables controlled, so you can apply science to developing the product lines of which you are passionate and have joy in producing.

200 sales pitches, 200 responses, controlled for variables, golden data from which to get to "enough orders to cover the suppliers minimum in a workable amount of time profitably" ... which is the basis for including an item in your line.

The rest of the article is about social media.  Reject the ideas.  Unless advertising and social media provably returns 10 times the cost (5 times in 30 days and another 5 times in 90 days) then do not spend the time or money.  Simple as that.  Read Ogilvy on Advertising or be ignorant of good advertising consumption.

Ogilvy on Advertising  Click on this if no image below...

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