Don't shoot the messenger. Trade shows have bad images.

Dylan McGrath wrote in EE Times yesterday about an online feud between VLSI Research's Dan Hutchenson and Tom Morrow of SEMI.  You can read the details in Dylan's article but the upshot is that Dan wrote in the Chip Insider that many executives in the semi manufacturing industry are bypassing the show (starting next week in SF) because the find it increasingly irrelevant and useless.

Let me state this one more time:  Dan said industry executives said it.  Not him.  Industry executives.

That revelation started personal attacks on Dan from Tom in a SEMI blog.

I had a similar situation when I was quoted in John Cooley's Deep Chip about statements made to me by others about the fate of the Design Automation and Test Exposition in Europe. Lot's of people sent me personal emails that were less then complimentary and a few that were friendly, but all said the same thing.  "You are wrong."

Now for Dan Hutchenson and I to accept that statement -- that we were wrong -- we would have to admit that the people that gave us the information were wrong, or lying to us.  I think neither of us would accept the latter possibility but we might accept the former.  But it doesn't change the fact that they said it.  That, in a nutshell, is the product of the conventional wisdom for tech B2B marketing runs on.

You know what that CW is don't you?  It's the one that says, engineers are the customers, engineers talk to each other, so we really don't need mass media or analysts to provide information about technology, companies or products.

That was the reason companies stopped advertising, why know one was really concerned when the publications and journalists covering the industry started disappearing, why companies stopped by analyst reports causing cutbacks in reporting coverage and finally, why those same companies are starting to find that trade shows and conferences are losing value as a marketing venue.  All of those components (advertising, media, analysis, industry events) are part of a symbiotic ecosystem that drives the market for any industry.  Take out any one of them and the ecosystem collapses, as does the market.  All you have left is engineers talking to each other.

And apparently, they don't know what they are talking about.  But don't blame us.  
We're just repeating what they say.