The OffWhite team at Pittcon 2013, Philadelphia. We look forward to seeing you this year at Pittcon 2014, Chicago.
In the late 1970s, when I was the director of marketing for Forma Scientific, Inc., I made my first trip to the Pittcon Exhibition in Atlantic City, NJ.
Pittcon is a mercifully short reference to the Pittsburgh Conference for Applied Spectroscopy and Analytical Chemistry. At the time, it was one of the premier emerging global expositions bringing together manufacturers of analytical instrumentation and equipment essential to research and development in nearly all industries, from medical research to aerospace, food technology to life sciences.
Over the years Pittcon grew to become a gathering of life science technology innovators rivaled only by larger trade shows such as Achema and Analytica (Germany) and HET (The Netherlands), which remain so large they schedule off-years just to rest and regroup.
Not Facebook. Face Time.
This year, OffWhite returns to Pittcon in Chicago’s McCormick Place, where the exhibit footprint will be smaller but the impact will be greater than ever. From a technology marketing standpoint, there is no substitute for walking the exhibit hall.
While new and interactive media pathways are becoming commonplace in technology marketing, the need for face time with clients, prospective clients and industry innovators remains critical. The most efficient platform for widespread one-on-one contact remains the old fashioned trade show where competitors are squared up against one another for the world to see.
At OffWhite, we are so invested in technology marketing that orchestrated visits to industry exhibitions are part of our internal marketing program. One of our most important takeaways from Pittcon, for example, is the contextual understanding of market niches we cannot see from a static view. As we evaluate best practices in airflow, containment, environmental control and monitoring technologies, we get to know the players and their go-to-market objectives.
We’ve learned that technology marketing requires a real understanding of products and customers, problems and solutions. We’ve proven that there is nowhere to hide when it comes to content management and information mapping. In other words, we’ve learned that explaining things – which is what we do best – requires an acumen best soaked up by asking questions of the innovators themselves. Not Facebook, but face time.
When companies ask us to differentiate ourselves from other marketing firms, we simply invite them to ask questions of our entire staff, and let our answers underscore our appreciation for the language of science and technology.