Friday, January 25, 2013

Second class citizens

I received this question in an e-mail from a customer about Surfaces:

"Why don't you participate at Surfaces any longer? I'm from California and Surfaces gave me a chance to see you without making that long trip to Indianapolis."

Our company started going to Surfaces in Las Vegas in the early days and took part in it for ten consecutive years. The first few years we enjoyed good locations on the main floor with all of the big mills and major events. Then a genius tagged us as a peripheral industry and decided that we should be relegated to the basement with its crowded conditions and low ceilings.

They argued that anyone who was interested in carpet cleaning would come down to the lower level to find us. My contention was that we got to see a lot of people on the upper level who weren't necessarily thinking about carpet cleaning when they stumbled onto us. Some of our very best contacts were made at those early shows on the upper level.

The cleaning industry has always been treated like the proverbial stepchild by the carpet mills. They tolerate us, but they feed us in the kitchen while the rest of the family is in the dining room. My son Don says the only thing that really gets someone's attention is to close the check book. Our complaints fell on deaf ears so we simply stopped going to surfaces.

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