I had a buyer approach me from a large west coast manufacturer during
breakfast and express disappointment with the RP&M exhibitors. She had been
treated rudely by a few vendors, and ignored by booth personnel in most
cases. One urethane vendor had gone to far as to ask her, "What can you
possibly know about urethanes?" This mature, RP technology savvy, woman was
at the RP&M to hear papers and get a hands on overview of equipment, with an
eye to purchase this year.
Her questions to me was "Are there so few women in this industry that all
the vendors assume I'm a spouse?" She noted that the booth personnel would
fall all over her husband, but act as if she was invisible. No one would
answer questions. And, she was not shy.
I know from personal experience during registration and during the
conference, that this behavior happens. I usually just shrug and press my
point. Many RP&M vendors assumed women were with staff, or with a husband
who was the "real customer." But, RP lost a sale last week because someone
didn't shrug and go on.
Urge RP manufacturers to remember that this industry has many people and
types of people in it. RP lost an advocate of the industry last week, since
this buyer didn't feel that vendors would pay attention to the needs of her
department. Vendors wouldn't even pay attention to questions when she was
going to buy a system and other materials, so after the sale customer
service would probably, in the buyer's opinion, be lacking.
Let's work on this issue please.
B. J. Arnold-Feret
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