MidStates 2014 Big Show
We’re back from another freezing cold trip to Minnesota for the MidStates Convention. (For the recap from 2012, go here.)
As to why MidStates holds their biggest show of the year in January in Minneapolis, I can only venture a guess…
They must want the most dedicated vendors to sacrifice blood [flow to their extremities] to earn the business of their valued members.
We were welcomed by a frigid -11 degrees (feels like -23 degrees, lovely). By the time we left, it had warmed up to a balmy 18 degrees with a severe wind chill warning. The few times we ventured outside it was actually dangerous! Fuzzy warm hats mandatory.
One night, after a late dinner, we learned that Minneapolis actually shuts down the sky walks at night, so the 3 block journey back to the hotel turned into an icy sprint. Loser gets frost bite!
But clearly we weren’t in Minneapolis to enjoy the climate, so enough about that. We were there to sell mailboxes! And, that we did:
MidStates is a different kind of show, because most of the members are large chain stores (like Mills Fleet Farm, Orscheln, Atwoods, Bomgaars, Rural King, etc.). There are thousands of vendors (lots of camo and guns!) and less than a hundred buyers. So, sometimes things get a little slow in the booth. That’s when we break out the Remote Control Mail Boss!
This year, our booth, usually in the hardware aisle, was by some error placed in the toy section. It was entertaining how many vendors thought we were selling remote control mailboxes, and asked how one would prevent the RC mailbox from being stolen!
But, increasingly we’ve noticed how many people are aware of the growing problem of mail theft. Even when we were in our hotel at night, we saw mail theft warnings on the news. Timely, indeed!
At MidStates, we tend to focus on the Mail Manager because of it’s broad appeal and lower price point. We introduced this stand-alone display for out-of-aisle stand-alone merchandising.
We also offered some ideas for retail store in-aisle merchandising of the Townhouse, Mail Boss and Mail Manager.
Finally, we saw this really cool car, apparently from Back to the Future!
Until next January, Minneapolis!