There’s something very comforting about doing things you’ve done before.
It doesn’t matter how many types of companies you start there are a host of things that are similar–looking for office space, the profiling and hiring of quality employees, crafting the message and building content for your company’s web site, competitive research, and the list goes on, ad nausea. Add business travel to that list. Add trade shows to that list.
I’m in Vancouver for a major industry trade show. As temporary COO of myVRM, I’m here promoting our scheduling software solution for the video conferencing industry. We’re meeting active prospects… existing customers… and, hopefully, lots of new prospects. During long days on the trade show floor we steal away to answer emails, take business calls and deal with the normal issues of the day. Then it’s back to the hotel to work on proposals and, being on the west coast, I even agree to a 5:00am conference call with a prospect on the east coast with our Director of BizDev.
The one thing I find funny are the emails from family & friends thinking I’m up here on some type of boondoggle. Truth is, here’s my (limited) view of Vancouver…
It’s only a 3 minute walk from the hotel to the Vancouver Convention Center. Today it was only drizzling, so I walked outside… Those mountains are covered by rain clouds, but I see glimpses of spectacular creation.
Hotel to Convention Center w/out going outside! The last few days it was raining so I usually walked to the Convention Center through the underground walkways where I found this treasure from the 2010 Winter Olympics below…
And the GOLD Medal goes to… I SO wanted to stand on this platform, but I refrained.
Welcome to Team Polycom 2013. The sign says it all as I enter my workplace for the next three days–a concrete palace where the greatest excitement is when you find a bathroom less than three football fields from your booth. The slogan for the event is “It’s Our Time to Shine”. The irony of the overcast weather, combined with walking & working underground from sunrise to sunset does not escape me.
After going up 80 stairs to register, I’m graciously rewarded with a 3-flight escalator down into the bowels of Vancouver’s Convention Center–to a concrete jungle fortified with a paper-thin carpet designed to create a cushy environment for us to stand for 8 to 10 hours each day.
I’m talking loud and I don’t know why! The show is held in such a big/high room (1/3rd shown here) you wind up yelling all day just to be heard. Then, while lying in bed having trouble swallowing because your throat is so sore, you think “Am I getting sick?” only to remember your day of yelling into the great abyss at everyone you meet.
The show went great, lots of meetings, new opportunities, and we even got some MAJOR recognition from Polycom at Thursday’s General Assembly meeting when their VP of Global Channels lauded our product for its functionality, its integration w/ their product-line and our Channel-friendly sales channel strategy in front of over 2,000 resellers. Our logo is in the center flanked by two of our customers – Yorktel & Whitlock – both high quality, large, fast-growing global service providers.
And what makes this effort worthwhile? This event has allowed us to connect with at least 5 new prospective Reseller Partners that have immediate opportunities. I can’t wait to get back home to disperse the leads to my sales team and follow up on them. After a solid week I can’t wait for the 12 hour travel day from my Vancouver hotel to my bed in Connecticut.
From the long and winding road of running an SBE, more as it happens,
Dan Gallo, I am… an SBE LIFER, are you?