This past February my wife and I attended the International Society of Weighing and Measurement (ISWM) 2016 Conference and Expo. The event marked a Century of helping the Scale Equipment Dealer.
It wasn’t a surprise, unfortunately, that those who the association was created for didn’t support it with their attendance. The small percentage of dealers that did show up, however, were welcomed with the full attention of the manufacturers. Those dealers enjoyed a great event...
Possible Cause of Attitude
It’s true that valuable information is being lost—as those who started scale dealerships many years ago fade away into retirement and eventually leave this world with all that information lost. It’s also true that the kids of those valuable entrepreneurs don’t want anything to do with the family business in most cases.
This apathy from the kids towards mom and pop’s business may affect the attitude of the older scale dealer towards groups like the ISWM and others.
In the mind of the dealer it plays out like this: the kids aren’t interested in the business; the Scale Industry hasn’t really changed in 20 years (other than the Internet); I’m in my fifties now; let’s just hang in there for another 10-15 years and then sell or auction it off.
Kids are the arrows in our quiver, and there’s an excitement when we can guide them, pointing them in a certain career direction; hitting the bullseye, (e.g., running the family business). But what if the arrows are bent towards going in another direction, what if you could never hit your target because your goals don’t line up with your kids aspirations. Without kids to mentor, target practice just isn’t the same. And that Archery Expo (ISWM Event) you used to go to as a family, well, not so much anymore. Without the hope of your business legacy continuing through your kids, what’s the point.
Attitude Cause No. 2: Internet
Another possible cause of low attendance at these events could be the Internet. In the late 80s attendance was still pretty good, but as the tracking line of the Internet continued on a steep upward projection, the attendance at shows decreased just as dramatically. Today, every day is a Google event—we can learn about, and find every product we want there. This ends up being a blessing and a curse for the dealers and manufacturers.
Some Good News
Rob Woodward has a great column premiering in this issue called “The Noseiron Knocker,” in which you’ll learn about the young up-and-comers within the Scale Industry. It’s going to be positive, insightful and full of hope. So please check that out on page 28.