Why go to a trade show if you’re not going to take advantage of peoples’ interest there? Or the possible widespread press attention?
I found out about a cool gadget that was going to be shown at one of this year’s CES ancillary events. I emailed the company asking if they would send the CEO to come on stage with me at the CNET Live video booth to demo the product and discuss the market it’s in.
Three days later, I get this reply:
I am the only person there who will be manning the booth. Everyone else is working around the clock to fill our pre-order list, which is extensive. Thus, I will not be doing demos. We will have a video at the booth showing the machine in operation. I would be glad to talk about [the product], if you would like.
My advice is this: If you’re going to spend the time and money to go to CES, maybe take some of your people off the shipping desk for a day or two during the heart of the conference so you can go do your CEO duties of getting out and spreading your message.
Especially if, as is the case in this example, you’re running a small company that’s competing with larger, better-established competitors.
I sent the CEO of this company a followup. I asked, “Why are you going to CES?” He responded, “I don’t understand the question.”