The Trade Show

DSC_0819Ever been to a photographic trade show? You should go to one – they’re more fun than a tattoo show and cheaper than the zoo.

I spent an hour visiting one in a downtown hotel – it was organised by a group of shops  that operate as a loosely connected store chain throughout Australia. I can’t say whether it is a copy of a show done earlier in the year by an independent dealer here in Perth, or whether that earlier show was a pre-emptive one with this in mind – I have heard both versions of the story. Some of the punters lurching around the display floor today had different versions of the theme in their minds…and some probably don’t realise that they are thinking of separate businesses…but in any case it would appear that the format of the thing was similar and may well have similar success.

For a person recently in the trade, there were no technical surprises – a great deal of the equipment shown was standard sales stock seen on any number of sales floors. Yet for the casual shopper or the country person, this sort of experience might have been invaluable. Drawing on a number of trade sources – the wholesale warehouses – the show organisers could put up a far more comprehensive picture for the visitors.

There were lectures and slide shows all day for which people made prior booking. As I was a casual visitor I contented myself with the show floor but I am willing to bet the people who went to the various rooms got value for money and they might translate what they learned into desire to purchase. Yay.

I was pleased to see people from the trade as it enabled me to re-connect to some extent. One of the circulating visitors was an industry rep with whom I have been dealing for 50 years. I was delighted to see that he was hale and hearty – his retirement agrees with him, as I hope mine will with me.

Show sales are not shop sales. Show show is not shop show. The former can be far more relaxed, cheerful, and inclusive than the focussed encounter over a shop till. At the show, the two parties are not trying to do each other  – either in or over…



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