Thursday, August 11, 2011

Oshkosh Review - Trends

I had wanted to put to screen, a review of our trip to Oshkosh, but available clock space and responsibilities kept getting in the way. Therefore, I am going to put that off for a bit and take this time to discuss a new trend we witnessed this year; meeting facebook friends for the first time.
Ginger and I are always on the lookout for trends at Oshkosh. What we’ve found is that marketers are really missing out on a great opportunity by not studying the event. Walk around Oshkosh for a few days and you know exactly what the country is thinking, what pilots are wearing, and how that reflects what they’re feeling.
Remember the clothing trend a few years back that had every guy wearing a camera vest, Tilley hat, and street hikers? If you don’t notice these things, this year that outfit had morphed into Under Armor shirts, synthetic fly-fishing hats, tennis shoes, and footie socks. Also noticeable was the trending down of camera gear being carried. Fewer people had cameras around their necks but the hard core photographers seemed to have doubled down to add that special something extra. And what about the word “Freedom”?

Several years ago, within a year or two of increased restrictions on freedom by our federal government, the word began showing up on everything at Oshkosh. Many of those signs are still out there but the willingness to speak up or fight these rules is waning. This is something our groups need to be keenly aware of but are they? As for us though, this year one trend stood out; meeting facebook friends for the first time.

With less than five minutes of research on the subject, look what I found.

Upon arriving at Oshkosh, Ginger and I both discussed a short list of people from facebook we wanted to meet in person. Somehow, we were sure we’d like to shake the hands of these like minded fun people. So, we set out to find them. Plan in hand on day two, we were just about to implement our strategy when one of them walked up. At first, I felt this was coincidence until he introduced us to one of his friends that he had met on facebook. Not only was this eye opening, but it was also great to see something useful finally come from the online social network.
As the week progressed, we shook many more hands from facebook. We also, more importantly, met other people who had their own facebook “must meet” lists. Being trend watchers, it quickly became evident that at some recent point, many folks had interacted online long enough, with enough different people, to know who their real potential friends might be. They in turn had also set out to find them.
Ourselves, we were forced to cut our search short when Ginger had to come home mid-week. But hey, on the upside we can continue the trend next year.

Please note:  We do consulting.

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