Greetings from Storage Networking World in Dallas! My colleague Kevin Komiega and I are knee-deep in dozens (seems like hundreds) of meetings with vendors (hey, end users are hard to find at this show). We're covering product highlights on the InfoStor home page, which we'll (hopefully) wrap up over the next day or two, but for now I have a brief respite for reflection on trade shows.
Although the conversations with vendors center on their products and PowerPoints, the meetings invariably start or end with general chit-chat about the show itself. The vendors consistently complain about lack of sales leads, booth traffic, hotel logistics and high prices, yet they're strangely and consistently upbeat (perhaps because I'm usually talking to marketing managers or CEOs and they're always happy). When I ask them how they can justify the costs associated with these shows in light of the above complaints, I often get the rare blank stare.
In trying to figure out why vendors (and editors, for that matter) continue going to trade shows, I'm reminded of the Woody Allen lines at the end of Annie Hall.
This guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." And the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" And the guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs."
Well, I guess that's pretty much how how I feel about trade shows (and relationships). They're totally irrational and crazy and absurd, but I guess we keep going through it because most of us need the eggs.
In my next blog I'll explore The Hottest Technology at Storage Networking World.