Bring Them

For the last 15 years I have always been scrutinized for bringing the engineering teams that built the product to tradeshows.   Most of this criticism stemmed around the fear that due to the introverted nature of the engineering culture, that engineers are terrible in front of the customer.  I can attest that the exact opposite is true.  Customers love and appreciate the authenticity of an engineer speaking about the product they love building.  Customers can feel their passion but more importantly tradeshows are drowned by the "pitch". Customers see right through the fake, canned, feelings behind a pitch that has been rehearsed.

However, this has never been my core motivation for bringing engineers to a tradeshow.  At the core, I want engineers to get away from their desks and look into their customers' eyes, show them the product they built and watch how it works.  There is nothing more motivating to an engineer than to see their product work well or break in front of an actual customer.  When you need your team to dig extra deep they become more driven because they know who they're building for.  We always talk about the customer when we're building products but now they get to meet, pitch and discover how customers think in real life.  So the next time you get the opportunity bring the engineers, take them with you on as many customer visits as possible.  They are the best people to help you solve problems.