352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / February 6th, 2009

Don't Tip Off The Competition, Tableau Software, Mplanet, & Other Ramblings

I had the pleasure of attending the American Marketing Association’s Mplanet conference last week, and was really impressed.  As an exhibitor, I didn’t go in with the highest hopes.  I expected the economy to have a big impact on not only the number of attendees, but also on the quality of the prospects.  I was happy to be proven wrong!

The AMA staff did a great job filling the holes in the attendee list with Florida companies that didn’t have to spend as much to travel, which was great for us since we’re also based in Florida.  In fact I brought our sales person from Tampa, Len, as well as our sales person from Jacksonville, Tom.  So we had the state covered from both corners.

We’re hoping to pull in some great new accounts as a result of the show.  Assuming we can close the deals, then it was a big success.

I also had another person success, thanks in no small part to Tom’s inability to hold in his excitement.  During the down time, we stepped across the hall in the exhibition hall and played Rock Band at one of the other vendor’s booths.  After playing for a few minutes, Tom told me I should hit the Rock Band game at a booth across the room.  When I asked why, since we already had a great game going, he said that the high score for the conference wins the game bundle (guitar, mic, drums, and game!). 

Here’s where it gets downright dumb.  Tom told me this while he held the high score.  That’s right…he was winning.  So of course I went over and blew his score out of the water.  At first, neither Tom or I thought it was a big deal, because the game was for the Wii, which neither of us owned.  However, after winning, I was told I could have it for whichever platform I wanted!  Tom was upset, at himself I hope, but felt better when I told him I’d bring it to the office to use with our Wii.  I can’t wait until it comes in!

The game was at the booth of a company called Tableau Software.  They offer a great software system that lets you quickly analyze your data with amazing graphing ability while easily showing you the relationships between the data.  What was cool is how they used the software to display the high scores from Rock Band.  They actually took the score and weighted it based on the difficulty level you played.  Then, in addition to a bar graph showing the scores, they had circles on the map representing the cities of each player, with the circle diameter representing the score.  It was cool to see how my circle eclipsed Tom’s little circle. 🙂

There were some other great companies there like SAVO, www.references-online.com, and many others.  I hope the show was just as good for them as it was for us! 

Here’s Tom is our booth, pretending he doesn’t care about his loss: