My name is Gayle and I like trade shows. Who knew?? When L-Tron recently launched our 3rd generation eCitation scanner, the 4910LR, I knew that I would be spending a lot of time at trade shows and I can say I had no idea what to expect. As part of our marketing roll-out – and because we love to support our Public Safety officers – L-Tron is sponsoring several Public Safety/Law Enforcement trade show conferences this calendar year. And it turns out that I enjoy working at these shows!
In March, I traveled to Iowa for the Governor’s Highway Traffic Safety Conference. Let’s just say that things didn’t start off very smoothly. I over-packed (as usual), and did not carry a “just in case” set of clothes on the plane with me. Guess what? You got it – my bags didn’t make it. In fact, my colleague Jason and I barely made our connection to Iowa.
So there I was in my travel clothes, knowing very well that I couldn’t introduce the 4910LR in the travel clothes that I wore all day on the plane and slept in. Hmm, what is open at midnight in Altoona, Iowa? I was thinking “Please let me find a Macy’s, please let me find a Macy’s…and please let there be an all-night sale going on…”
Well, I ended up finding a Walmart store that was open and Jason, L-Tron’s Sales Lead, got a quick lesson in what a woman needs to be presentable for working at a trade show:
- A great Walmart outfit (actually 2, in case the airline never found my luggage)
- Comfortable shoes (on sale for $4.99)
- Trouser socks to wear with my $4.99 shoes
- Hair brushes
Done! I got all of that and more for approx $100!
I was in bed at 2 AM and up again at 5:30 AM to try out all of my new Walmart goodies in time to set up for the trade show at 6:30 AM. I was sure glad that I had done all of the prep work and promoting for the show in advance; shipped the booth, the products, the collateral, and helped prep the new signage.
When the Law Enforcement and Public Safety officials started arriving at 8:00 AM, let me tell you – they were great! Jason and I spent the next day and a half engaged with a wonderful group of people. I thought that my stunning new outfit helped draw the crowds to our booth, but Jason reminded me that our iPad mini raffle was probably the biggest crowd pleaser. Oh well, I can always pretend it was my outfit. But in all seriousness, congrats to a Sheriff from Grundy County on his new iPad mini!
So why do I like working trade shows, despite all of the hassles of traveling? Well, it’s all about the customer for me. It was fantastic listening to and hearing their questions, feedback and great ideas – the true voice of our customers. What’s more is that we had an overwhelmingly positive reception of our new 4910 License Reader – it was HOT! Before Jason and I even returned home from the show, RFQs and orders for the 4910LR were already in at L-Tron.
We left Iowa (the coldest place I have ever been – and I live in a snow belt!) with great input about the 4910LR from our Law Enforcement & Public Safety customer base and excited for our next Law Show a few weeks later.
And my luggage?
It arrived well after the convention was over, but I managed just fine in my Walmart outfits. In fact I love my $4.99 shoes and regularly wear my blue sweater. Lesson learned. I will always pack a set of clothes to take with me on the plane.
See you next year, Iowa! Next up? ESLETS in New York. Stay tuned for my next blog!