Well we just got back from the NER All-Fuels Expo. The trade show went great for us, we met a lot of great people, got some really good feedback, and even more confidence that our product has a market that needs it. Considering the convention was in Connecticut in the end of January, we couldn't have asked for better weather, no snow, except for about 10 minutes on the way up, and even fairly light NYC rush hour traffic.
Things I learned or of note:
Our target audience was slightly off. While 99.9% of chimney sweeps are male, the people that actually bought our product, or were on the verge of buying it were mostly directed to do so by their wives, and many others had to ask their office managers, etc...
The features we thought were the most impressive (ChimScan integration and MapPoint integration) were actually probably the least desired. The good news is that the core aspects of our program were in very high demand, and were in many cases what sold it.
Don't get down if you do not receive any sales or positive feedback on the first few days of the trade show. For us, Wednesday was somewhat of a downer, but Friday afternoon at 1:55pm (the show ended at 2pm) was a buzz of buying, deal making, etc... People will wait until the very last minute, heck, we were even still discussing options with customers in the parking lot afterwards.
Like Joel from JoS says, version 1.0 gets a few early adopters, but based on the feedback we received, it appears if we add one or two features we had overlooked or put off until this point, we will receive an influx of more orders, and then a few more features after that, even more. I'll be busy programming this next month or two and the rest of the guys will be busy selling and handling support, so I may be slower in posting.
I absolutely could not have done this trade show alone, I'll detail our setup and what everything cost/required on a later post, when we have pictures developed (forgot the digital camera).