We all love to carp about trade shows, so this time we thought we’d take a different approach and highlight some of the noteworthy moments over our many years of covering and speaking at them. David has just been to two different shows in Orlando last month and compares how they were run and what he learned. Paul has been to many vendor-focused shows over the years and offers some of his perspective. The best shows all have this in common:
- Solid speakers that have compelling stories, often drawn from the end-user community. We realize that some shows are run for profit and sell sponsorships (that often include a speaking “slot”). Still, the better speakers will always generate more buzz, coverage, and attendee response. These speakers aren’t afraid of telling tales that have a mixture of positive and negative experiences from the vendor’s products.
- The smaller, more vendor-driven shows will collect the faithful and boosters, no need to amplify or over-sell this.
- User-run shows, such as from VMware and Terradata, are often better than those that are vendor-run.
- Having executives who “give good interview” is key: not all of them can (even with some training) do this.
- PR teams who know what reporters like and tailor their schedules accordingly, rather than set up too many “meet-n-greets” that keeps us off the show floor.
Speaking of bad PR, Paul ends our episode with a tale of woe about one PR person who admitted that a news item was over a year old. Telling the truth is always a good operating philosophy.
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