Not in the whirlwind, but in the still small voice

So I spent a great deal of my morning trying to get into the EE Times Virtual Conference on SoCs.  I was able to get into the exhibit hall to see really bad demos and webinars,  I could get into the resource center and download a lot of badly written marketing material and a few good articles.  But the meat of the conference... the panels and keynotes ... was unavailable to me.  Even Tech support couldn't figure it out.

So I wandered into the chat room and found a half dozen people with the same problem.  And since they were all engineers I figured they weren't using a Mac like me, so my tech couldn't be the problem.  We all had a lovely chat about the conference as it was shaping up and learned something very interesting:

Engineers don't like marketing materials (who does?), they don't like presentations, and they don't like webinars.  

Webinars?  I thought webinars were the be-all and end-all of marketing.  That's where engineers talk to engineers, virtually. 

The knock on webinars were that they were too long and too filled with marketing BS, which is really interesting since most webinars are written up and produced by engineers, not marketers.  Marketers get to make suggestions in content, but it's the engineer that is the editor in chief.  So if the engineers are in charge of the vehicle that is supposed to be the most popular way of reaching engineers, can engineers really talk to each other?

Well, yes, but not in a controlled environment.  What the engineers in the chat room said was the most valuable part of the exhibit hall was the chat room with other engineers, not all the controlled messaging of the virtual booth.

Hence the title of this post.  There is a great deal of time and money spent on trade shows, virtual and otherwise, that all goes for naught.  The only thing that matters is the personal interaction.  That's what makes the sale.  The most valuable tool in a company's marketing arsenal is anything that creates a conversation, not a blind blasting out of information and noise.

Think about it.