I love Vegas, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. It’s perfect for my personality. This year’s trip to Vegas for the PPAI show was another great experience: I worked hard, played hard and completed my own “Vegas trifecta.” Although I did end up paying for several months’ worth of “free drinks,” I was able to fit more than 25 productive meetings into just five days. I’d call that coming out on top.
That being said, I have a few takeaways (and advice) for my fellow industry professionals.
Suppliers: If your No. 1 trade show goal is to get as many scans as possible so you can go home and send them a bunch of paper catalogs, you’re wasting a big opportunity. The last time I checked, you and I don’t use the phone book to look up phone numbers, and we don’t cut coupons from the Sunday paper. Why waste money on catalog printing when there are better, cheaper ways to drive sales?
Sales Professionals/Distributor Owners: I’m really encouraged by the number of people I’ve encountered lately who are willing to change and learn, albeit sometimes with some kicking and screaming. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people are worrying about staying relevant and competing in the future. This is a good thing; it leads to innovation and becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. I encourage you to expand your commitment to education and recognize that the sales strategies of 2000 will not be as relevant in the year 2011 (and beyond).
Everyone: Stay away from the blackjack dealer on the 51st floor of the Palm. I made a late night trip to the Palm to escape the industry fray. I had high expectations of reliving my MIT card-counting days, a la Bringing Down the House. Unfortunately, by 2:00 a.m. I had lost 100% of my ability to count cards and all sense of colors. Needless to say, there was no happy ending. In fact, the obliteration took less than 15 minutes. As my father has told me about 1,000 times, nothing good happens after 12 a.m. (especially in Vegas). If you want to hear the details, find me at the next show!
How did the Vegas show treat you? What were your highs and lows? I’m anxious to hear your feedback.