The DEATH of Trade Show Parties? Yes and No. Latona Found the Answer!

Morning Folks!!


The days of going to a tradeshow for the parties are over.
What may have been in vogue in the past is no longer in fashion. The focus is business. Business
and Networking. Those focused on other extraneous events are just not in tune
with the times. That is why where a tradeshow is held is important. Business
during the day, hard business and then play hard at night. Often times you are
not sure where the show begins and the parties end. I think you need some
definition.


If you have not listened to Rick Latona’s interview with
Andrew Allerman
, you should. The audio is a bit hard on the ears but the
content is solid. Rick answers one of the single biggest questions in the industry. Definitely worth a few minutes of your time.


One thing Rick mentions is that they called up their top 100
customers and asked them why they come to TRAFFIC. I think Rick was surprised
by the answer. Not me. It is what I have been saying all along. When he asked
the question he assumed “Parties” would be much higher on the chart. In a way he
is right. But in a minute I will explain what it is. First of all the #1 answer
by far was “Networking”. Parties were barely a mention even tho we have had
some legendary ones. But Like I said, that is no surprise to me as TRAFFIC
means business and always has. Now if you were to ask the same question at
other venues, the numbers would be different. So when you mix folks that come
for the parties with serious folks that are coming to do business, that my
friends is a distraction. Wasting time with folks that could care less about
other things. I am really happy that Rick Latona took the time and energy to do
that. Rick will tell you himself that he has learned things about TRAFFIC from the inside that surprised him. Good stuff. That allows him to build on our foundation and still stick to business.


I want to be 100%
inclusive, but I have always wanted to have as few distractions as possible.
When you bring great people together, great things happen. I have said that for
years and there is just no time for sideshows and drama.


Folks make up all types of stuff to fit their biases and agenda. The partnership we have with Latona is based on OUR VISION that we all share and to give me the time to do what I want in 2010 that I will be discussing in my next Blog post. None
of the folks that think they know so much was ever there privy to our
conversations however they speak like they know something. Ignorance in action. Price is no longer a barrier in coming to TRAFFIC. Invitations are no longer a barrier. The only barriers are the ones that are made up in the mind. Also known as EXCUSES.


So while Rick Latona is opening up TRAFFIC to more folks, I will still discourage folks
from coming that are not focused on business and furthering their careers and
the industry in general. TRAFFIC means Business and I think the industry is going to be delighted with the changes in Las Vegas and then delighted with our Florida show in October not to mention the International shows in between. Hong Kong to Vancouver with stops in Milan and Dublin. That is pretty damn exciting!


Last year I explained that during a recession businesses do one of two things. Either they pull back on the throttle because they are inexperienced, timid and scared and that puts them in jeopardy or they put the pedal to the metal and expand because that is what you do if you want to have success during hard times. So when you look back at 2009, how did you do? What did you do? Are you stronger or weaker? Are others that you work with stronger or weaker? Have you seen some that have fallen into my first category?


As you can see I took my own advice. Expansion to every corner of the world by TRAFFIC at the very least likely time. Full throttle baby! The ONLY way to navigate times like this. In my next post I will discuss other things that I have done and am doing. Candy.com was also a great success in 2009 but not even included in my equation or list of accomplishments. That was just a little bonus and sweet reward for work done YEARS ago. Now we all get to see what happens to a GREAT domain in the hands of a GREAT company that has a vision and the energy to fulfill that vision. And do it at the BOTTOM of the business cycle. These guys did not pull back either. They expanded. They expanded while others were scared and that will produce rewards greater than anything I can write. Just look at the big winners of 2009. They ALL expanded. And the losers? Well you can fill in those blanks with those that have pulled back and are now paying dearly for that decision. Yup, 2009 was tough. 2010 may be tougher in many respects. But let me be clear, that has nothing to do with making great fortunes. It is easier to make $$$ in times like this. Just have to know how it works and how to look at things. A prism is only a piece of glass until you hold it and look at it exactly right.


Have a GREAT Day!


Rick Schwartz




11 thoughts on “The DEATH of Trade Show Parties? Yes and No. Latona Found the Answer!

  1. andrew

    BTW, if the audio is a little hard on the ears (I’m still working on that), you can also read a transcript of the interview with Rick Latona. It’s at the same link.

    Reply
  2. Adam

    IMHO the networking has been best at intimate dinners offsite, over a few drinks offsite or participating in an”activity” of some sort and that typically means some sort of party.
    The parties are crucial to the networking atmosphere imho. They build comradery, lighten things up and add in a dose of fun.
    I can’t imagine any type of networking not involving something of this sort but that’s just my 2 cents.

    Reply
  3. Ms Domainer

    *
    I’m going to be perfectly honest with you.
    I don’t go to domain”trade shows” at all.
    Why?
    Because I find that the lurid kinds of events that domain sponsors tend to run send a very unprofessional message. As a female domainer. I find the playboy bunnies and the body painting of young women extremely offensive and insulting. Whenever I see one of those Playboy Mansion ads on a banner, I am truly embarrassed for this field and embarrassed to admit that I work in a field with such people.
    So I don’t go. I stay home and do the best I can on my own.
    By demeaning women in such a way at domain”parties” and”charitable” events, the message seems to be,”We don’t want smart women among us. We want women we can use as objects.”
    These bad boy domaining events also send a message to the outside world, who tend to see all domainers as cybersquatters and spoiled little boys with no self control when it comes to conducting themselves professionally at their”trade” shows.
    If domain conferences want to conduct social events, why not sponsor events that include everyone, not just guys who have not yet matured into men? Why not sponsor events that include women as full participants, instead of objects? In fact, why not sponsor events for the kids of domainers?
    I’m not just being a crank here; I suspect that I speak for a lot of women who are trying to break into this field and find these kinds of demeaning events nauseating.
    I’m just louder about it because I also have another career, so I’m not worried about losing friends and networking opportunities.
    Rick, you have a real opportunity to turn domain conferences into TRUE professional opportunities for ALL domainers, not just males.
    *

    Reply
  4. Rick Schwartz

    Ms Domainer,
    I could not agree with you more on many of your points. I think however you would find at TRAFFIC that there are a number of Spouses and female domainers that come. We encourage it.
    On the other hand we can’t be responsible for how many women are in the industry. Last time I looked, there were no barriers or other things associated with the traditional way women are excluded or given lower pay in corp America or small business.
    I do agree that much of what goes on at some venues and by some sponsors is over the top and does not always put the industry in the best light. The industry is young, male and that is what many respond to so I guess they do it.
    As for TRAFFIC, please don’t paint us with the same broad (No pun intended) brush. I think we go out of our way to be about business. Our wives and families come as do those of many attendees. Hope you’ll come and see first hand.

    Reply
  5. Jen Sale

    Ms Domainer,
    I’ve attended many conferences and events over the years, and would argue that you get out of them what you put in.
    If you’re there to do business and know the game, you’ll be treated with great respect by both the men and women within the industry.
    Secondly, the events are not compulsory, and there are many that are spouse/family-friendly.
    There is real value in attending the shows – you’ll build an invaluable network, learn a lot, and you may even make some friends along the way.
    It’d be nice to meet you in person, so if you do change your mind and plan to attend a conference, please reach out.

    Reply
  6. Ms Domainer

    *
    Thanks for your responses, Rick and Jen Sale. I would be most happy to attend a domain conference like Traffic.
    Perhaps next year when I’m in country I’ll attend a domaining conference (I’m currently overseas, teaching).
    *

    Reply

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