Emailed comment to this blog:
Have you ever been at a frat party where the ratio of guys-to-gals is about
eight-to-one and the guys constantly hit on the few unattached girls in
YES! I was at that party last week too.
You said: “Despite my best efforts to keep the conversation proprietary-free”
If you can really do that, and I do believe you can, you are now ready for the next step in marketing your company. It is also the place I thought you were heading when you started your blog: Make folks pay to get your message because it is worth it. So far I’ve been to three big conventions (sometimes called conferences but I can’t tell the difference) and every speaker had something to sell. They were very polished and proprietary free. Their sessions were part of the program and prominently featured in the event brochures. They filled the classroom sessions. They had books, tapes, and DVDs for sale in the lobby. They sold like hotcakes. Why don’t you? When I thing about this matter I only wish I had something to sell because I love to talk, love going to big hotels, love to tell my story, and would love to make money selling my books and DVDs. I don’t have the passionate subject matter just yet but you do.
Every photographer at the photo convention had DVDs teaching how to shoot like him or her. They held audiences in rapture talking about related subject matter and, this is the really juicy part, the really good guys had sponsors too! Just like pro athletes. Can you imagine how many golf club manufacturers would pay big time for Tiger Woods to use their stuff? The camera companies want to associate their cameras with this or that big shot photographer. Those photographers plugged their sponsors, wore their shirts and hats, and even demonstrated how to use the sponsored equipment during the classes. When it was all over the speaker would say “please take a look at my DVDs for sale at the rear of the room.” They had well staffed tables to handle the sales. The formula works in the software world too. Bill Gates has hardware sponsors when he does a demo.
I thought convention booths were overpriced when I worked for Liebert. Nowadays I would not consider parting with my money when there is a much better alternative such as speaking engagements where I control the subject matter because I am the expert. My staff could handle the book sales at the rear of the room. Major credit cards accepted.