“Participation Awards” Feedback



Thank you for the outpouring of comments related to our recent editorial on product reviews, and the fact that we’re swearing off “participation awards.”  We were, frankly, surprised by the number of comments we got from retailers who said they were jonezing for more honest, straight-shot product trials to help them with their purchasing priorities.  And believe it or not, we heard from a lot of manufacturers who thanked us for setting a level playing field.  Everybody was really hopeful that we would actually follow through with these reviews, and put them in a consumer-facing format.  Trust us, that’s already underway.

Truth be told, the trade show happens at a tough time for media.  We see product in July (in booths).  We don’t really get to use it until fall, in most cases.  We try to gear up for product reviews to run in early spring.  So… while we have been testing quite a few products in the waning months of the North American season (43 different products at last count), we did what responsible magazine editors would do to augment the product testing process–we told our wives that we had to go to Christmas Island, Chile, New Orleans, South Carolina, and Argentina this winter to do more product testing.

We’re serious, and this is actually a heads-up to manufacturers.  If you want product tested on those trips, send us a pitch now.  If we decide to pack it within the confines of our luggage/weight allowances, we’ll coordinate that with you.  Then we’ll fish with it.  Then we’ll write exactly what we think about it.  Simple as that.  Contact us at [email protected] or [email protected] with your ideas, by November 15.


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