The pen and paper have been busy, between Housewares, Surtex and a few Atlanta leftovers a lot is being said. I only wish I could get them all, but ya just can’t stop a meeting to write down a good one, and then ya just can’t remember them all afterward, try as I may… but here are few for you:
“There are a lot of mixed signals, it’s not exactly clear where the market is going.” – a product developer/importer
“I just met with a guy who insisted we have our contract in place before I can do any presentations with  his art – that just doesn’t work for us.” – from a meeting at a well known tableware company
“One thing I’ve learned after all these years in this business is that the product misses outnumber the hits, and you just need to pick yourself up and keep on moving.” – an agent
“We switched rep groups hoping to increase sales and they fell by half – no one can explain it.” – a gift manufacturer
“So I’m looking at 30K of travel and show expense this year and wondering if spending 10K more might help – and then I’m thinking I must be nuts to be thinking that.” – an agent
“To me, someone who has a successful ecommerce presence is motivated and smart – exactly what we look for. Anyone telling you differently has another agenda or their head up their…” – an agent on the question of artists who sell product on the net
“This is really great and I am sure it will sell like crazy, but it’s just not our customer.” – a manufacturer
 “The good old days of cheap China manufacturing are gone.” – from a large gift company
“She claims to be one of the top licensing agencies, but if that’s the case why have we never heard of any of her artists?” – an agent (and always a good question…)
“It’s either a sun setting or a moon rising, I am not sure which.” – overheard in the Javits food court where a non-exhibiting agent was showing a portfolio at the next table(!)
“I like this personally but we’ve already got it covered a couple different ways.” – a manufacturer
 “Pick your poison – boutique retail or mass market – there are problems either way.” – an art director
 “It’s really tough for us out there because the key accounts are in complete control.” – an art director
I’m going to start teaching a $1000 course too… it will be called “How to Get Your Head Out of the Clouds and Do Some Art”. – an agent
“The problem is we make a presentation based on them ordering 3 products and then they only order 1. Now we don’t have enough product to fill a shipping container so we have to turn the order down, and no one is happy about that.” –a manufacturer
“You reach a point where you can see the shades come down and their eyes glaze over so you just need to stop showing them art.” – an exhibitor about showing too much
“You never know about that X-factor out there, because the product, the price, everything was right but it still didn’t work.” – a licensee explaining why a line didn’t work
“Traffic doesn’t matter, I don’t care how many people are walking in the aisles if they can’t do anything for me.” – an exhibiting agent
And my favorite one of the group:
“I don’t know if I can do it or not but I’m a pretty good ‘tryer’.” – an exhibitor

3 replies
  1. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    Those “few” say a lot, Jim. So many factors influence product success or failure, and hearing comments from those in a cross section of the business is a treat.
    Thanks for the laughs, too. I’d love the opportunity to guess if it was a setting sun or a rising moon.


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