If you're one of them who said that, go ahead and tell me "I told you so." The response we received from the umpires in attendance greatly exceeded my expectations.
First of all, what impressed me most were the number of our customers who stopped by to say "hello". Ordering online can be such an impersonal experience, so it was very nice to meet many of our customers in person. One of those who stopped by was Robert Rachlow (pic below). Robert is the guy who wrote the great Shock FX helmet review for us last year.
Plus, we've always known that we are well-represented with umpires at the youth through high school levels, partly due to our more educational approach that seems to appeal to newer and/or younger umpires. But the shear number of college-level customers/attendees who came by reveals to me that we have more at that level than I previously had thought.
What was also neat was the number of guys who came by who, even if they had not ordered from us, still referenced a blog article I had written or who revealed they also posted on one of the umpire discussion boards which I occasionally post. (See Dave "MajorDave" Teater in photo below)
The many orders we received on-the-spot were something we had not planned to push, but they were certainly not unwelcomed.
What were everyone most interested in there? The top 5 in order were:
- Wilson Titanium masks
- Diamond Silver Frame Featherweight Mask
- Our new and improved Ultimate Umpire Ball Bag (soon available for sale online)
- Reebok Field Magistrate Plate Shoes
- Manzella gloves
All of these customers, connections, comments and orders are simply continued validation that we are doing something right. Thanks to all of you who contributed to our successful trip. We'll not miss out on many opportunities to attend NCAA clinics in the future.