Windows IT Pro held a contest where each vendor nominated themselves to win an award in the Expo area of the conference. I wanted to attend the announcement, but was unable to do so because of being busy at the booth. Apparently, a lot of other people were busy, too, because I could see the crowd gathered at the Windows IT Pro booth from my vantage point. There was, maybe, 15–20 people standing to hear the announcement of the awards, and I believe all of them were just vendors who had nominated themselves to win. The myITforum booth had nearly 3 times that when we were just giving away T-shirts. Funny stuff.
Anyway, Windows IT Pro has posted the winners on their web site. You might want to check it out when you get a chance:
Our buddies at SMS Expert were nominated for their SMS Companion product, and I can tell you there were more people stopping at the SMS Expert booth than the KACE booth (who won the Most Innovative Product award).
After reading the post on the site about the winners, I’m immediately left questioning how the winners were actually decided because the following paragraph from the article leaves some unanswered questions…
Karen and I met with each of the finalists here at MMS to learn more about the products, then spent a long evening reviewing our conversations with the finalists and choosing one overall Best Management Product by a Microsoft partner, two runners-up, and one Most Innovative Product, and designating one Special Achievement Award.
So – does this mean you simply needed the best marketing staff to win the award? I can sell you a mud pie from the banks of the Ohio river and make your mouth water in the process. Does that mean it could have won an award for Best of MMS 2007?
I ask that because, earlier in the article it says…
“These finalists were selected for their … value to the customer…”
How can the value to the customer be understood unless they actually talk to the customer? Who then decides customer value? And, doesn’t customer value actually differ based on the environment and the environment needs? Or, did the winners succeed because they had the shiniest something-or-another?
Methinks there should have been a voting booth set up where the actual customers and attendees could vote to provide real-world, community results. They could have done it both in the Expo and also on their web site. Someday, yes, someday, folks will “get” community like we do.
An individual from the Windows IT Pro booth stopped by our booth on Tuesday to get a better “understanding” of myITforum. They were one of the booths I approached on Monday night with a business card who indicated they had no idea who we are. The person asked me how we attracted so many people to the booth. I explained myITforum to him and he still left looking like he didn’t quite understand — just that we were attracting folks even during the supposed “dead” times of the Expo and they had no way of comprehending why and how. If Windows IT Pro were thinking outside the box, they would have held attendee votes at their booth to keep people coming back, instead of deciding who had the prettiest, shiniest products all on their own. Just a thought…