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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tradeshow tribulations

Perversely, as an entrepreneur one of my favorite parts of the year was going to trade shows. They were a lot of work, the prices and labor restrictions were ridiculous, but it was the one time a year when we could interact with the rest of the world and show our stuff.

This morning, USA Today has a great article on Scott Friedman and his experience at the Consumer Electronics Show last week in Las Vegas. Apparently, Scott was the only one in the building not selling a tablet.

Instead, the CEO of SoulR Products in Southern California was peddling a $80 high-fidelity portable iPod speaker, the "WOWee One.”

What I found particularly interesting is that the article runs through the budget for the company and its product. The company has $200k of founder money and $300k of outside money.

Perhaps more relevant to aspiring entrepreneurs everywhere is the CES budget
  • $23k for the 20x30 booth
  • $27k for booth construction
  • $5k for a consultant
  • $20k for other expenses — furnishings, photographer, hiring booth bimbos
This is probably 10x our budget for our last booth in 1993, but that was only a 10x10 at MacWorld Expo San Francisco (back when that was the must-see event.)

I think the article fills in a useful gap for new entrepreneurs, in making concrete the process of using a trade show to promote a new product. Columnist Jefferson Graham deserves kudos for his efforts.

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