Booth Duty

As I blogged earlier, I did booth duty on Wednesday. Booth duty is when you are involved in a marketing event with a booth (trade show floor). I am not sure how many of you out there realize how much work goes into these events.

First, there is the logistics of gathering propaganda, renting space, moving the booth backdrops, etc. Then, there's deciding what is important to show during that event. What will customers want to hear? What is important to them for that show? Once the topics are figured out, then comes the search for the appropriate people to be in the booth to cover those topics (I was there to cover Solaris 10). And demos, of course. Those demos take a \*lot\* of work. They are the real deal and field folks (like me) have to build them in between customer visits. I feel sorry for one of my co-workers who, from what I understand, did a lot of legwork for the show. I have been in those shoes before. We are good at teamwork but it just depends on the situation as to how the work actually gets divvied up.

We had plenty of Sun Rays there. The neatest demo is what our customers refer to as MLTC (Multi-Level [security] Thin Client). Sun has a great solution in this area that just knocks our customers socks off. Some customers have gone from 5, even 10+, PC's on their desk down to one Sun Ray. Yeah, it's a hell of a desk :) My non-blogging heathen co-worker John (who I am trying to talk into blogging) set the whole thing up. He knows this solution inside and out.

Also in the booth was our partner, AMD. We had lots of good discussions in-between customer chats. After the show, we all hit the bar. If you want to build relationships and get to know people, a glass (or two, or three, or ..) of beer is a great way. I know what you Europeans are thinking. We don't have real beer here in the US. I won't argue that point :)

I only had one beer followed by a Starbucks in the hotel pub. I had a 2 hour drive back home and was killing a little time to let traffic die down. I really, really didn't want to drive in heavy traffic for 90 minutes.

Next time you hit a trade show booth, don't just go straight to the freebies (I know it's hard ). Talk to the folks who put forth a lot of time and effort to hopefully address some problems you may be having. Afterwards, join us for a beer ... or coffee.

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John Clingan

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