Tom Garrity

Lessons from a Trade Show

In Uncategorized on February 13, 2010 at 7:11 pm

It was a Saturday that I really didn’t intend to do any work… then my brother-in-law called and then next thing I knew we are enroute to a hunting and fishing trade show.  There were a number of great exhibits.  And I was having a nice time taking it all in until I came across one of the “new” exhibitors, a fishing lodge/conference center located outside of Santa Fe.

The owner told some great stories about the lodge, how it was established in the early 1900’s, how it has stayed in the family through the years, even how it was transformed into a lodge and destination.  I was on the verge of declaring this as the best kept secret in New Mexico, let alone the Southwest United States … when I saw “it”!

Yes, there is Stephen King’s “It”, a great book about a horrifying creature in Maine.  And there is the other “It”, equally as horrifying, the brochure promoting his lodge.

Printed on virtually transparent paper, at the expense of a dozen HP inkjet cartridges, the trifold brochure featured a distorted picture of a fisherman on what appeared to be a very scenic area. Inside, more color images and a panel that provided a brief history.  On the back panel was his contact information, an email address but no website address.

When I asked for a rate card or related information he asked me to visit his website, which he wrote on the brochure.  When I asked him about the name of the website, which bared no resemblance to the name of his lodge, he told me “I have no idea what that website means.”  At that point, I dropped my head and thought… he all of the best intentions, he has a great product just marketing materials that paled in comparison to the quality surroundings of his lodge.

Not wanting to work on this Saturday, I was able to maintain keep my cover as an unassuming customer.  When I left thought, I immediately started to vent about how this view/approach of marketing is going to be the main reason why his only success will be that of word of mouth.

So, yes, I will help.  I will offer a trade for services which he may or may not take me up on.  If he doesn’t, I might call my real estate agent so I can find out when this lodge will go on the market.

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