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Our First Trade Show – Carolina ASUG – Lessons Learned

My latest learning experience was the trade show. Now I’ve attended trade shows in the past, but this is the first time I’ve gone to one in the vendor mindset. Now, this was a relatively small group. It was a regional ASUG, so it was a great place to learn. My partner Mike and I got up at the crack of down on Thursday morning and drove 4 hours. We hit the vendor fair, that had about 10 or so booths. We talked to about half of the booths, in order to try to learn what other people are currently doing. We talked to some companies that were even doing SAP Add-ins, just like us. So we got some great information about pricing and we saw some good marketing materials that we can strive to check out. (speaking, please check out our one page document on any of our products. I’d love to hear your feedaback).
Here’s some of the lessons I learned

Lesson 1: Consistent Image:  Mike and I were in the process of getting the new company launched, so that meant we both came in under our own company name, Paper Street Enterprises & DMS. This wasn’t terrible, but since we were often at a booth together, we got a lot of strange looks, especially when we presented a JaveLLin Solutions business card.   So we decided that we need to get some shirts to wear (polo for sure), get a logo, get business cards, change our membership to to the new company.  Little things like that.  ha ha ha

Lesson 2: Avoid panel discussions if possible: On the first day, the last presentation was a panel discussion about ABAP Add-ins.  It was awesome because it gave us a chance to give a quick pitch.  However, we ended up following a guy that took twice his allotted time and just wouldn’t get off the stage.  This quickly annoyed the entire audience because this discussion was holding people up from going to happy hour.  Nobody wants to hear a sales pitch when they could be drinking free beer.  ha ha ha.  We learned that it’s worth the money to be a vendor and do an actual hour long presentation.  Plus, that will give us a booth.

Lesson 3: Talk to Vendors:  This was a big bright spot in the conference.  in the course of the conference we met 2 great vendors that are actually interested in partnering up with us.  So talk to everyone, you never know.  These vendors can help us get in the mobile arena with little work on our part…  (more about this in a future post).

Those are the big things I walked away with…  I”m sure when I go to CWG in Oct, I’ll be doing another one these…

Thanks for reading…