I had an enlightening ride from Hartfield-Jackson to my hotel. I took the shuttle in and ended up sharing a van with a gentleman helping out his aging uncle man his custom Scagel-style knife booth. The other fellow was a product development manager for a maaaajor American knife manufacturer. Both were very affable guys. The talk was mostly about hunting/dressing/skinning knives and, well, hunting in different locales and terrain.
The ProdDevMgr said that other than SHOT Show, NRA Show, and Safari Club International Convention, his personnel try to attend the smaller trade shows to see what The-Other-Guys are putting out there, especially the custom makers. Another benefit is gauging the specialty markets for new product ideas. He hinted at a new mid-year-release item he said I could see tomorrow at their booth…hmmm.
I was a minor player in the conversation, but saw that the PDM was truly interested in what the field user had to say about what he took into the woods. Nice to see an exec from a multi-million dollar company really care about his potential customer base.
The ride was well worth the $35.00 flat rate, plus tip. Double Scotch rocks and off to bed.