Since I’ve been at Coast Hills (or more correctly, since I’ve lived in Southern California, which is near Las Vegas…), I’ve had the opportunity to attend six major trade shows.
In the past, I’ve been able to get to one or two here and there, but the last few years have been a boon.
We were talking at NAB the other day about how important it is to be able to go to trade shows, especially for church techs.
We also realized that most churches don’t see the value in sending their tech guy to a trade show. That’s truly a tragedy, as the church is missing out on a valuable resource.
I can see the perspective of church leadership, but I think it’s misguided. A pastor or board may see the costs associated with sending their tech guy to a trade show and figure that money could be better spent on equipment (or better yet, on something non-tech related).
However, by missing out on trade shows, the church is actually spending more money and potentially getting the wrong gear.
To help curb this trend, I want to present to you a few reasons why your church should send you to a trade show. Feel free to pass this on to your pastor or church board.
One of the biggest reasons to attend a trade show is to gain contacts inside manufacturers.
If you’re a tech guy at a church somewhere is the rural midwest, it can be really tough to find anyone who can help you solve technical problems. However, by going to a show, you meet engineers and product managers who can walk you through solutions to technical challenges.
For example, I’ve been working on trying to come up with a cost-effective solution for the video system in our community room. We have a weird distribution system and unusual input needs.
Yesterday, I talked with engineers at two companies who outlined solutions for me. One told me that at the moment they didn’t have a super-elegant way to solve the issue, but if I could wait a month or two, at InfoComm in June, they would be introducing a product that would fit the bill perfectly.
Now I have some real options to consider, and we’ll end up with a better solution than if I had tried to figure it out based on looking at their web sites.
Plus, I have contact info for those guys, and I can now call them up and run scenarios by them. That’s a valuable resource.