I'm all caught up from my recent trip to Grapevine, Texas. I was there for the Design 2 Part trade show where Kubotek exhibited, highlighting KeyCreator Direct CAD.
I made good use of my downtime (see above). And I had fantastic conversations with Design 2 Part show attendees and (fingers crossed) future KeyCreator customers. I couldnt' ask for more.
From start to finish each day at the show, I stayed busy.
As with any show I staff, if I'm not talking, I'm mentally tracking two things among visitors: who has the best shoes and who has the best/wildest/most unusual product. For example, I've spoken with an individual who designs and manufactures rat mazes for pet owners and research labs. I guess someone has to make them, right?
This year at Grapevine, I spoke with a few individuals who could have won the top product prize. But I'm going to give it to US Pets LLC for their battery-powered pooper scooper for dogs ideally 30 pounds and under. (I'm glad they clarified the size restriction to me right away. I'm sure the look on my face told them I have experience with much larger dogs.) Check out the Poo Pal on Youtube.
Anyway, they are working to get their product off the ground and into the hands of small dog owners. The product concept is similar to a mini dust-buster the size of an iPhone. Only, it's for poo.
They showed me a sleek, rendered product image as they explained how it would work. Then they showed me what the product looked like after someone tried to recreate their design in Solidworks. And while the two product images had some similarities, they were no where near the same. The best way I can explain the difference is to look at today's car body styles. And then look at the car models of the 1980's. The same, yet totally not.
So, while we talked about dogs and poo, we also discussed their design challenges. One of their complaints is working with someone else to make their designs. Their wants and needs aren't always fully communicated and they still need to make modifications to files they receive. It's that back and forth that wastes a lot of time and it costs money. Why pay someone to do all that work for you if they aren't able to give you what you want in the first place?
If US Pets LLC had Direct CAD, they could do one of two things: easily design the product themselves, because of how easy it is to use or import the files they do have to quickly edit them. And then, because Direct CAD is such a great collaboration tool, they can easily work with manufacturers to get to a final build. And since they plan to eventually create a pooper-scooper that can work for larger dogs, too, they can easily scale their designs accordingly. That's pretty poo-tacular!
People attend these shows for all sorts of reasons. Some just want an excuse to get away for the day. Others because they need to source a new supplier or have a specific product or manufacturing need to fulfill. And then there are designers and manufacturers who want to see what's new "out there" - those are my favorite conversations of all. These are the people who are open to ideas that can save money and improve their productivity. They can entertain the thought of breaking away from the stale status-quo. It's exciting, in my geeked-out trade show mind. And while KeyCreator isn't a new product by any means, to many people, the concepts of Direct Modeling are ground-breaking.
For us, a trade show is the best kind of advertising there is. Not only do we get our name out to hundreds of people at a time, we actually get to speak with people and learn about their day-to-day design challenges and victories. For that, no ad in a magazine can compete.
If you're out at a show this year, put on some nice shoes and look us up. I, for one, want a chance to talk to as many people as possible. And if you do nothing else, keep your mind open to new possibilities.
I hope that maybe, just maybe, the people I spoke with in Grapevine were happy they stopped by our booth to learn more about the crazy "new" 3D CAD modeling techniques they were seeing on our video monitor. And for the free KeyCreator bottle opener.
Kubotek 2016 Trade Show Schedule
|March 30 & 31||
Design 2 Part Atlanta, GA
|April 13 & 14||Design 2 Part Secaucus, NJ||
|May 11 & 12||
Design 2 Part Schaumburg, IL
|June 8 & 9||Design 2 Part Santa Clara, CA||
|September 12-17||IMTS 2016 Chicago, IL||
|September 28 & 29||Design 2 Part Marlborough, MA||
|October 12 & 13||Design 2 Part Akron, OH||
|October 26 & 27||Design 2 Part Long Beach, CA||
|November 9 & 10||Design 2 Part Nashville, TN||