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Vegas Swag Wedding Chapel

October 23, 2011

It used to easily get into the high A’s for boarding on Southwest just by jumping online and checking in 24 hours before departure. Not anymore. Yesterday I jumped the line of my domestic chores so I could sit silently like a reanimated raptor to viciously strike (hit the “Check-In” button) exactly when the pixels shone 2:45…

B17. Ugh. Still, I love Southwest. They always try to make their sardine experience fun. On a recent flight delayed out of Orlando, the pilot announced, “Don’t worry. We’re going to fly this thing like we stole it.” Fun.

In spite of my demotion to the B-List, I’ll still get a decent aisle seat for today’s nonstop to Las Vegas for “Technology Services World,” the conference of the TSIA. Oh, come on. Just click the link.

I’m pretty psyched. Mostly to hang out with some of my favorite co-workers, but also for some of the sessions. Here are a few of my possibilities:

– How Cloud is Impacting Professional Services
– Educating the Non-Education Professional about Education
– Service Sales: Transitioning Your Product Salesforce to Selling Services
Blah, blah, blah…

Kronos is also presenting sessions on our Cloud Services operation and on growing Educational Services. They’re at the same day and time. Lovely.

Then there’s the Expo. The nudge to write this post came from reading William Tincup’s rip of conference swag, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” The post opens, “Swag = Crap” and proceeds to torch both marketers and marketees (is that a word?) over the cheap plastic tricks used at shows to pull them together. Oh, and he later responded in comments about how undignified an HR VP looked in a “money booth.” Hey, showcasing myself in a clear, plastic bubble thrashing around for 8 bucks while being ogled by peers like a circus freak isn’t my thing, but for some, it’s just some fun at a conference typically dominated by dying in a hail of (PowerPoint) bullets. Plus, most of the swag, especially the shiny-flashy variety, ends up in the hands of a child until it flashes no more, then it and the logo upon it go to (hopefully) a recycling center.

My point is, the crap is just an icebreaker to entice someone into a conversation. Sometimes smalltalk happens, and before you know it, maybe they decide to meet for coffee. Then dinner. Maybe a demo. Or two. On those rare occasions, the couple makes it down to the end of the funnel of love and a deal is consummated.

And they live happily ever after. Or not if the long-term service experience turns out unsatisfying.

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