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TIA: Tennessee Inventors Association in Knoxville Tenn and Oak Ridge TN
Oak Ridge and Knoxville, TN  

February 2012: Tradeshows

Meeting Date: 
February 18, 2012

The February 18 meeting of the TIA featured information on the proposed Tennessee Inventor Expo (TIE) and on Tradeshows.

Joe Martin presented information on the proposed TIE: Tennessee Inventor Expo. Joe explained that the last TIA seminar was 3-1/2 years ago, in August 2008. He proposed that it is time for another public effort by the TIE. Joe told of a lunch meeting with people from the Knoxville Tourism Board, the Knoxville Convention Center, and the Holiday Inns hotel. He asked for a show of hands and the consensus was DO IT.

Joe moderated a lively group discussion about the TIE. One suggestion was to have a Shark Tank type review of inventions. Another suggestion was to involve educators to promote STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math).

When to have the TIA was also discussed. October 2012 may be a good time because there UT has only one home game that month. Someone suggested January as a good time because there would be few conflicts with other.

A committee was formed to work on the TIE. The committee members include Joe Martin as chairman, new member Andre Duvall, and Tom Kulaga.

Carl Papa talked about his experience at a huge golf trade show in Florida. Carl had a table at the show last year. It was in the section for new inventions. This year, he did not rent space, but instead walked around. He carried business cards, rack cards, and samples of his products.

To promote his invention and products, he listed to the spiel of others and then asked to demonstrate his product. He said that the impromptu demonstrations were well received.

Carl said his trip to Florida was a success. His products are going to be presented in two catalogs.

Carl also discussed other tradeshows. Last year he had a table at the Knoxville Golf Tournament. He spent $2000 to have a table at the tournament. He got a lot of press and walk-through traffic. But he did not generate enough sales to justify it.

The Trade Show News Network at has a searchable database of tradeshows. The shows are categorized by industry, location, and schedule.

Other Business:

New member Rusty Jay told everyone about his invention: Maw Maws Suck It Up. It is a patent pending product to keep suction cups stuck to the window in a car. He manufactures the product and showed a sample in a small bottle. Everyone chipped in with ideas on how to market and promote his invention. It was a fine example of crowd-sourcing where everyone helped.