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Who’s Trading What?
by The G-Man

I always enjoy the opportunity to see, visit and catch up on what’s happening with clients and prospects and have long believed in the trade show forum and format. But, it seems to me things have been changing. After spending time being peppered with questions by another grain industry member, I sometimes wonder just why that particular person even attended the show. We expect to ‘show and tell’ and welcome good dialogue. But often, an attendee will not share information and seems to have no purchasing authority. What’s to trade for the knowledge, experience, answers and information we are willing to share? Shows are a natural forum in which to exchange information... and to see products up close. Shopping a show isn’t a girly thing – it’s a wonderful opportunity. Both attendees and exhibitors need to give more thought to how to make show time and investment work harder! Come prepared to do business, not build up extra strength in the ol’ jaw muscles!

Wake me when it is over!

One of the seminars I sat in on this season dealt with a hot topic that I needed to learn more about. The speaker’s experience certainly qualified him to be making the presentation. Unfortunately his presentation skills did NOT. The room was filled. Many had pad and pencil ready to capture the gems they were sure would be shared. Bummer! The speaker showed no enthusiasm for his topic... his monotone was... monotonous. I kept waiting for him to call the roll and ask for “Bueller…Bueller…” In this horrifically boring monotone—our managing editor has assured me something can’t be both horrifying and boring at the same time, but he wasn’t in that room—he read what could have been an undergraduate level ag school paper. Frankly, there was nothing new in his presentation content, or exciting in his style.

Worse, he shared no personal experiences or personal insights. Here is a person anyone would describe as an expert, and he left all the expertise and experience back in his office. He sure didn’t help his own organization. I was so disappointed in what I saw and heard that I would now be far LESS likely to call them about their services. If there were 300 people in attendance and they all reacted like me, he just blew 7.5 weeks of selling time - 300 hours! I know his competitors loved it! They’re probably still chuckling.

Let the good times roll!

It has been interesting listening to visitor discussions at shows and meetings the past several years. Ethanol opportunities seem to have finally broken the negative effects of 9/11 doom and conversations are getting more positive. Thank heaven for that; the conversations that weren’t really chipper question-filled wastes of time were starting to feel like a visit to a mausoleum. However, I have heard a few comments about this good market can’t last. It’s probably a little early to start that thinking. Things are changing and much is good. Any reason we can’t enjoy the moment?

While I appreciate and enjoy meetings and trade shows, they sometimes get me to thinking...where did I put that blood pressure medication?

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