I stopped reading all my RSS feeds after my last retirement post. But I just went through them and I have to say, I'm in full bad-ass fighting mood.
Funny thing - I picked up four more feed subscribers after I quit talking. Maybe if I say more, people will decide to stop showing up.
So here's what's pissing me off. First, Sue posts on Reed's sudden epiphany about attendee marketing on the National Hardware Show. This is not worth congratulating. This is the same company - and show - that for years had every marketing manager lie about attendance at virtual gunpoint (you'll do what we say if you care about your career here). So every year in the early/mid-90s attendance of over 70,000 was quoted. Every year it was under 40,000. Somehow rewarding Reed for getting nearer to the truth is sort of like rewarding Mugabe for burning all the crops but not taking possession of the farms.
David Shaw rightly points out the Richmond Events model, which was more or less similar to the channel events that were purchased by Gartner several years ago and eventually became Gartner Vision Events. I suppose the Vision events have also changed focus away from the attendee judging simply from the fact that Phil McKay is no longer involved.
A commenter on Sue's post cited the ages-old canard that "80% of show attendees come to see what's new". That "research" question is usually asked as a multiple choice with perhaps four or five other options. However, if truth serum were issued to each survey respondent and an open-ended question was allowed, I think the leading answer would be more like, "To see if the grass is greener - or if there's any green grass at all."
In other words, "I'm coming to see if I can find a better job." Or "more clients," for the always significant number of outboarding consultants who can't afford a booth but do their earnest best to network with everyone possible.
I've already commented on the idea of a blog cruise on Kevin's blog. Me: Man overboard.
I'll skip the other 78 posts I could comment on to save my breath for Ted's post on SISO (or more accurately, Carl Pugh) starting an online forum. It's nice that something like this exists and Carl loves to putz around with these types of toys. But it would be nicer if people actually used it. Adopt wikis? Puleeeze. Stop back in 2015... maybe.
The fascinating thing here to me correlates with MIMlist subscribers who, when the forum switched from a pushed email listserv to a pull moderated bulletin board, executed a mass mutiny. What was once a thriving 5000+ member community shrank by 80% or so almost overnight when the switch was flipped to Mimegasite was made last fall (note that the site is already being reconstructed and the group is housed temporarily at Google Groups)
Despite the success that MIMlist had from 1999-2005, nobody else in our industry has really ever tried a push listserv. Late 1980s technology? Yep. Is the show industry ready for it. Just about.
Btw, if you wondered what I've been doing, we were down at Coffee Fest in DC last weekend. Two of our baristas made the finals in different competitions. We also reached #2 on Google for the search "bicerin" (that espresso/chocolate drink from Torino) because of our blog. More than 1,000 visits from bicerin searches alone the past 12 days. Proof that blog marketing works. You can leverage current events very effectively. Also, the coffeehouse blog is part of a seminar curriculum being taught in Iowa.
And I'm giving a seminar on blogging from the coffeehouse on May 24 so that everyone in our business district can join in and we can own Google for carefully selected keywords... more people shopping Washington Road in Mt. Lebanon = more people needing java. Best part, it's probably going to be sponsored by Stormhoek wine - free booze - through Hugh's generous (and brilliant) doings. All because of blogging.
And I still work on marketing projects for the 30th largest show and a fast growing foreign real estate conference. I tried to get the top marketing job at the Kitchen & Bath Assn., but I wouldn't guarantee a permanent move to NJ so I'm out of consideration. But I'd love to do some tech stuff if you have anything.