I spend a considerable amount of time at trade shows. I am always excited to see friends, clients and new brands that are coming out with innovative products and old brands who are the staples of retail.
The energy of the trade show is always exciting, akin to shopping in an over-glorified retail space with miles of products representing an entire industry. I love to catch those sneak-peeks at what’s to come in the future—innovations that will make hiking, riding or running more enjoyable for the consumer—but trade shows are primarily about community and connection. Of course each community is different, but that sense of connection is the same. It’s here that businesses build their relationships and reputations.
Like many others, I have a few brands that I either love as a consumer, follow because of their growth or am curious about in regards to their next innovation. My natural curiosity gets the best of me and I seek out those top brands and visit their booths first.
Enter: kid in candy store.
Unfortunately, at a recent trade show, my enthusiasm for these brands was not mirrored. In fact, one booth blocked me from entering the “secret section” because I wasn’t representing a relevant retailer. Another brand met my question with an eye roll and the kind of attitude I expect from my 16-year-old daughter, not an adult.