Yesterday, as we set up our display at Construct Canada (the show has been around for 25 years), I could not escape the fact that we have a mature business. It certainly hasn’t grown to the massive multi-million dollar level of the show (started about the same time as my company), but we have certainly outlasted many of our competitors. Notably, after years of testing, trying and experimenting with the show, we may have wrongly settled into a simple comfort zone. Most of our “new” business there has proven to be repeat relationships. Other exhibitors visited our booth to confirm they would be putting us into the budget next year for future projects, and I picked up some rather interesting news from at least one industry association where we have a close relationship. Meanwhile I had the opportunity to share some thoughts with Society for Marketing Professional Services president Brad Thurman, from Tulsa, who visited Toronto for the trade show with SMPS senior vice-president Tina Meyers.
Kevin Klages, who recently resigned as president of the SMPS Ontario chapter, also attended the meeting. His resigned, it seems, because he is intensely involved in a tech business start-up. I spent a few minutes with Kevin after the meeting to learn a bit more about his new business, relating to building imaging and automated floor-plan creation (potentially extremely useful for Realtors and building owners/managers, and possibly with relevance to developers and renovators). His explanation of how he got involved in the start-up with the inventor is an intriguing example of someone seizing an opportunity and embarking on a rather exciting and challenging journey. I’ll write about it in a few weeks.
There are obviously different business/marketing challenges for businesses at various stages of development. It is dangerous for mature businesses to rest on our laurels — but it is so much easier o connect and maintain relationships with current clients than it to push out and reach new markets. Yet we need to experiment, and take some risks, and sometimes things work, and sometimes they don’t,