My feet ache

Hello. I’m in Orlando where I’ve been since Saturday morning. I don’t know if you’ve ever worked the background of a major event like a trade show but all of the days seem to run together into one long day. Here’s what my schedule has looked like…

  • Saturday: fly at 7:00am, arrive at 10:00am, work at the Convention Center (CC) until 11:47 pm
  • Sunday: wake at 5:13am, at CC by 6:00am, work until 1:53am
  • Monday: wake at 5:32am, at CC by 6:10am, work until 2:07am (on this day “work” may have included cocktails, I don’t remember)
  • Tuesday: Wake at 5:57am, fall back asleep, wake at 7:18 – Sh_t, I’m late! at CC by 8:15am, work until 10:34pm
  • Wednesday: Wake at 5:19am, at CC by 6:30, we’ll see how it goes…

EMC World is largely a technical user conference. There are over 300 technical sessions and over 100 partners exhibiting in the Solutions Pavilion. We help from the beginning with conference look/feel, pre-show marketing, and on-site materials… and months later we attend to work the event itself. The entire experience is rewarding, exhausting and sometimes painful. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything because of the awesome people we get to work with, meet and help.Trade show tips: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a pedometer (I didn’t and I’m certain I’ve walked about 137 miles). This place is HUGE. Attached is a ROUGH photo of the registration area where +-8,000 attendees registered between Sunday evening and Monday morning. We did the graphics ☺
My Feet Ache

Developing skills as a volunteer

I spent last Saturday at my alma mater (Mount Holyoke College) working with students to sharpen their interviewing and networking skills. During the transferable skills panel discussion, another alumna recommended that the students develop skills that will help in their job search via volunteer work. Great advice – for professionals as well as students.

This got me thinking about the skills that I use in my volunteer work. As an active member of the board of the Mount Holyoke Club of Boston (check out the Hart-Boillot designed logo), I rely on essentially the same skills that I use here at work: organizing teams and projects, communication skills, time management, and of course, delegation! This likely strengthens the work I do for our clients, but could be limiting as I am not developing new skills. An acquaintance makes a point of working on tasks unrelated to her career in her volunteer activities (an editor by day, she serves as our Club’s treasurer). As chair of the nominating committee, I should consider nominating myself for a new position!

Words, Words, Words.

A few weeks ago over lunch we had a discussion about everyone’s favorite pet-peeve “work” phrases. The phrase I love to hate? “Lets take this off-line” when said in a meeting, or other non-online situation. I used to keep a tally at one old job of how often the VP would say that phrase per meeting. Perrin’s contribution was “ping” as in “I’ll ping you about that later”. Nicolas brought up “populate” and “re-visit”. What are your pet peeve work phrases?

Sometimes, it's just who you know

Earlier this year we helped a client place an article in CompactPCI and AdvancedTCA Systems. The author got a call from an old colleague, “hey, I lost track of you, saw your byline…what exactly does your company do?” A few months later, the two companies signed a deal.While it is important for companies to advertise, issue news, and publish articles, it can be just as important (and fruitful) for the employees to get out of their cubes and talk to the people they know. When was the last time you took some time to call an old friend or former colleague?