Big-Ass Fans and the Naked Truth about Attention and Controversy
One of the advertisers that grace the pages of nearly every industrial trade magazine now is a certain company called Big-Ass Fans.
Ahem, they are more formally known as HVLS Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky. But whatever you choose to call them, this company makes very large fans for big industrial buildings, barns, and warehouses, and they promote themselves in a very loud, obnoxious, and funny way.
There's definitely a lesson to be learned from Big-Ass Fans.
Bill Buell, the Big-Ass Fan Guy continues to astound and amaze. I went to see his entourage at the National Manufacturing show in Chicago, where he had a prominent booth near the front of the exhibit hall and a big long line of customers waiting to get autographs from NFL star Refrigerator Perry.
This Bill Buell character is no slouch. Because he was bringing an NFL football star to the show, he was able to negotiate a really sweet deal with the trade show promoters on booth space. His spacious booth was right behind Grainger's, and he got it for a song.
So here he is with cheap space and a mile of prospects wrapped around his display, waiting to get autographs and chatting with his Big-Ass salespeople about their heating and cooling problems.
Not bad, eh?
I asked Bill about his background. During most of the nineties, he published a trade journal in the agriculture industry, a high quality mag that required subscribers to fill out a thoroughly ...