Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Have trade shows jumped the shark?

Why the fuck would I want to go to a trade show? CES is at least cool because it's in Vegas so you can get piss drunk and get thrown out of a casino. Basically trade shows are a combined circle jerk of the media and a bunch of corporate representatives who probably want to kill themselves. Nothing about that shit sounds appealing, baller, or even aight. You mean I'm going to spend a week out of town every year looking at whatever wack ass innovations have come around we've already speculated on? So we do this shit every year?

Nothing about that fits the modern face of innovation. Waiting until a new model year or next show cycle is a lame ass way of presenting what you've been working on. It's not the jet age anymore, innovation is occurring at too fast of a pace to wait for conferences. We don't need displays of future concepts under bright lights. Hell, we don't even need displays of practical technologies ready for the public.

Unveils at shows don't do anything for consumers, who at the end of the day have to buy your shit, not some asshole with a press badge and a MacBook. Those shows don't make an impression on people who'll actually buy your product. Most people won't know something new exists until they see it in a store or on their television. The group of us that aren't journalists that follow the movements of trade shows and auto shows generally aren't the consumer group for products or concepts being shown.

But the journalists generally do the worst part nowadays by seeing who can regurgitate press releases the fastest. And of they do drop an opinion it's a half-baked “ZOMG this new shit is awesome” opinion. During auto show season I glean all the information I want usually from the headline about a unveiled car. The reason is the body of the story generally lacks anything that speaks on the potential of the car in the market. Instead of “Chevy looking to pursue developing markets with new shitbox” we get “OMG NEW CHEVY SHITBOX LOOKS SIZZLING HOT IN ORANGE AT NYIAS.”

Maybe I'm just being an asshole about all of this. Maybe trade shows still have a place in the world. But what is it? What purpose do they serve anymore that helps motivate real consumers? None. The only good purpose they serve is for Bob from Pineville to go out of town and cheat on his wife with another sales rep and get plastered. Trade shows are an expensive, outdated concept built off an old world. I'm sure the all that shrimp cocktail tastes amazing though. 

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