I’m Sorry But…Who Are You?
Well I’m back from a whirlwind Vegas trip. The ABC Kids Expo, the largest trade show for the juvenile industry, was disappointing and a success. How does that happen? Well, direct sales weren’t great. But if you compare us to other exhibitors, we did quite well. We took some orders from new stores, some from existing stores. The best part was being able to show our new products in the line. The reception was amazing! And the contact with our existing stores was invaluable.
When we go to these things, we are inevitably approached by everyone; manufacturers, packaging suppliers, PR agents, magazines, bloggers, exporters, and that’s not even the half of it. It is overwhelming looking at the stack of business cards handed to us. Where do I start? By far, the biggest dilemma is trying to figure out who is worth my time. I don’t mean to sound snobbish, but seriously some of these people had no business being at the trade show. There were a lot of people running around collecting as many free samples as possible. They had no interest in buying Dapper Snappers to sell in their store, if they even had a store, they just wanted a free one because everyone is handing out free stuff.
The most disturbing thing I witnessed was the self-ascribed “experts” and the tendency to expect me to gush at their presence. There is this ever growing trend to brand oneself as an expert or founder of something. Here’s the problem; these people aren’t experts. They have no real experience beyond their limited exposure to their chosen profession. I’ve been burnt by these “experts” before. They make all sorts of claims, hand out plenty of free advice, and then charge to belong to their private club or get personal coaching. But when it all boils down there is no answer except the one you find for yourself.
Another off-putting encounter was with those who were famous in their own minds. Call me celebrity dumb, but unless you are Hugh Laurie, chances are I don’t have a clue. And if you believe yourself to be that important, then I don’t want to know you. I actually had someone realize that I wasn’t sure who they were so they handed me their card while saying “Well, let’s see what you say when you see this”. Completely underwhelmed… I could see their badge. I was aware of who they were before they whipped out their card. I was not impressed. I’m sorry, but I refuse to fall all over anyone. Well, unless you are Hugh Laurie.
I am more apt to be in awe of the humble. Those that share their wealth of knowledge without expectation of compensation, those that challenge my perception of success without a self-righteous attitude, those that cheer on the small business underdogs; they are the people I respect. To the rest I say, “I’m sorry but…Who are you?”