Since I am the one that begged Craig to write on this subject, I want to focus on the tension. It is much more apparent than I have ever seen it in my career and is definitely not productive. We have lost a lot of the fun and camaraderie that used to permeate our industry.
One of the most contentious subjects I have witnessed lately, through conversations with my peers and personal experiences involves "Trunk Shows". There are tales of reps spending half their day to sell two shirts, or two pairs of shoes at a trunk show. A bad trunk show is expensive to host and expensive to attend. The relationship then becomes strained between the rep's and the shop manager's embarrassment. The business model is often flawed and "trunk show" should be removed from our vernacular. We should be calling these "Club Events" and the reps should be an added feature, not the show! There is not one brand in our industry that alone can motivate a crowd to show up and spend money at a club.
A "Club Event" needs to be special, well coordinated and a heavily promoted collaboration between the club and the vendors involved to draw as many members and guests as possible. This increases the chance the chance for a profitable day for the club and the rep, and a memorable experience the membership and their guests.
John Brisbane - Mfr rep in Texas and Oklahoma