Monday, June 09, 2008

Although it wasn't about sales leads, it was a huge success

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, for Albeo, Lightfair was not about sales leads. It was about our coming out as the only LED light fixture uniquely focused on the hardest problems in lighting: big, bright, efficient fixtures for industrial applications. From the perspective of showing the lighting world who we are and that we’re credible, it was a terrific show.

We had great press and analyst interaction. We had the best press kit in the press room, and appeared to go through more than anyone else. We participated in about press 12 interviews, which should generate 6 to 8 editorial pieces from now through September. I also had a terrific conversation with an LED lighting market analyst. Her firm published a large market analysis report in early 2007 which did not even mention the industrial market through 2012. I made the argument for the market opportunity and positioned Albeo as the one most able to serve that opportunity.

We had great investor engagement at the show. It was interesting to see so many venture capitalists walking the aisles of a lighting show. I'm sure it was the first visit to a lighting show for almost all of them. It was particularly valuable for Albeo to be able to encourage potential investors to visit all the other booths to see if they could find someone addressing a similar market need with the same set of capabilities.

We also connected with some strong reps in regions where we had no coverage (SoCal, New England). These new relationships are already paying dividends.

In summary, it was a successful opportunity to establish strong, clear corporate positioning with customers, competitors, and channels.

Having said all that, it wasn't a bad show for sales leads, either. Our booth was mobbed all three (exhausting) days. We came away with 200 to 300 leads, a mix of end users and potential channel partners, that we're currently going through and qualifying. We have found some valuable nuggets in there.

However, the most valuable aspect of Lightfair for Albeo may not have been raising awareness with customers, editors, channels, or investors, and may not have been generating sales leads, either. The most valuable aspect of this show was all about the team.

We're still a very small company, so putting together this kind of trade show presence, with all of the required products (several new products shown for the first time) and materials, was a huge undertaking for us. Every member of the company helped make this happen, and to have all their hard work pay off in such a big way helps to confirm the value of each individual's contribution. When they also saw how well we were received by the various audiences, it highlights that their continued efforts are likely going to help change the world in some way.
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