If you’ve ever been the person at a trade show booth or behind an event table, you could really feel for the exhibitors in the basement of Club 303. The event organizers of Summer Toast, Denver’s big social event for marketing people, had no idea it would get so hot and stuffy downstairs last night, doubtless. But it did.
Heather Florence was behind one of the tables. Her company is places2network.com, and I asked what I could do for her (from a network perspective, as in, who can I introduce you to). She said “you could bring me a fan.”
Which I did. A big one. One of those industrial beasts, six feet tall if it was an inch.
I found a bartender to help me move it. People were watching, people I knew asked if I was officially a part of the event and when I said no, exchanged looks. The fan put a nice grease stain on my shirt (my wife was happy about that).
I didn’t care. I was adding value. At all costs. My ego started inflating, I imagined conversations – what a helpful guy. He’s adding value at all costs.
The row of exhibitors literally applauded when I brought the fan over. I was Caesar returning to Rome.
One problem. I couldn’t find an outlet at the new location. I found an extension cord, but no outlet. As I searched it became stuffier downstairs. And stuffier. And stuffier.
Then I lost the bartender. So I couldn’t move the fan back. People turned on me, started complaining. (Et tu, Brute?) I slinked away.
So a public apology to everyone downstairs at the Summer Toast event of 2009. Lesson learned: make doubly sure you can add value before you begin the execution process.
And thanks to everyone for a fun event last night, and to the sponsors like Heather and places2network.com.
I promise to not touch anything next year.