A few months prior to RootsTech 2012, genealogy booksellers were informed by the conference staff that they would not be invited to have an exhibit booth in the RootsTech exhibit hall because, in the organizers’ opinion, books are not technology.
Excuse me? Books ARE technology! Paper is just an earlier version of the same things we can now download to our IPads, Kindles, Nooks, laptops, etc.
Of course this announcement upset the booksellers. They had already purchased inventory to sell at the conference, having been led to believe they would be invited. Plus, it’s the conference sales that sustain their livelihood.
As a result, the genealogy community was up in arms, after all, we love our books. Genealogists formally raised enough ruckus with RootsTech, that the conference staff relented and invited two booksellers to the exhibit hall.
Now for the sequel to the story. I checked the vendors every day of the conference. The booksellers had lots of books, really great ones I’d love to have.
Meitzler’s Family Roots Publishing surprised me, however. EVERY time I walked by, his booth had people LINED UP to purchase the Flip-Pal. A LINE! The Flip-Pal is a mobile handheld scanner. (You can read more about it from the link on my sidebar). They were selling like hotcakes and the price was $149 each!
I’m betting Meitzler had more sales than ANY OTHER VENDOR!
Meitzler taught us an important lesson: We need to change with the times, not forgetting or deleting past practices for those who need and want them, but by also embracing technology as it applies to us.
So here was a bookseller originally not invited to participate who it appeared did more business than the tech vendors. Kudos to Meitzler. He got the last laugh.