Trade Show "Woes"
Oct 03, 2015
Trade shows are alluring for our sales team. They present a great opportunity for us to show off the effectiveness and intricacies of our security screws. We always envision interested parties visiting our booth, picking up literature, taking samples and asking questions. What we envision never happens. Nine times out of ten, our booth gets overlooked. Our product is small and it’s easy for high security fasteners to go unnoticed by attendees. We have to sell thousands of fasteners to pay for our exhibit, where as other exhibiters can make one sale and it pays for theirs. Trade shows are not economical for us, while the allure is strong, we've cut back on them.
Occasionally, we do give in. We recently exhibited at a Public Works show thinking it would be different. Our solution to copper theft and solar panel theft is unmatched based on cost and simplicity. Yet, we had the same reaction. Did we pick the wrong show? Phoenix, AZ in August is not the place where most want to visit. Or, could it have been the large trucks and street sweepers sitting right across from our booth. If I were wandering through the show, they would’ve garnered my interest too. We gained the most attention from other exhibitors. In particular, were the manufacturers of manhole covers made out of rubber and plastic. Who would’ve thought this technology could replace cast iron, but it has. These new covers are so light; they only require a fastener to hold them down. Bryce Fastener has the right product for manhole applications. Although we experienced a “woe” from lack of interest, we did find a new vertical market.
There was a second “woe” more troubling. We did get a great deal of interest from one part of the world: Asia. Interested parties were asking us for samples, taking pictures and showing our product to their friends. It’s the very interest we normally want…but was it? How many American manufacturers have facilitated these questions, only to find it was to their demise? This left us with a little remorse at the end of the show. Does this ever happen to you? How do you handle it?
There is a consolation. We’ve been preparing for this since the beginning of our company. Because imported security bits ruined the tamperproof screw industry, we designed our fasteners around this threat. We made the design ever-changing, added Asian patents and developed many security oriented trade secrets. This was all done for our customer’s security, but it may turn out to be for ours.
P.S. I (Bryce) made a special trip at the end of the show to find these interested parties and explain we have patents on all Bryce Fastener’s security products. Though their English was limited, I think they got the message…?