This week I took some staff to San Diego for a wholesaler conference I attend every year. Thank goodness the computer issues we had a few days ago happened before we left.
Four of us flew down — Sandy (VP Operations), Erin (Marketing/Web), Darrin (Controller), and myself — for 4 days of VIP treatment from our #1 office products wholesaler. It is an event our company really enjoys attending, and the best part is we are invited down at no cost, because of the volumes we purchase throughout the year.
We are treated like royalty from the moment we land. The time is filled with cocktail receptions, trade shows, classes and peer roundtable discussions.
In particular, I spend most of my time in these round table meetings with other owners. As there are over 4000 people who attended this year, there was no shortage of people to meet and share ideas with. My little note book is jammed with great ideas and contacts for me to follow up on over the next few months. I also had an opportunity to share some things that worked well for us at Costless. In particular, other dealers loved our Free Cookies when you buy 6 cases of paper, Free Paper Clips for Life, and our Web Free Samples. I'm glad to share what works for us in such a giving and high-energy environment.
The highlight of the conference had to be dinner on the deck of the famous USS Midway aircraft carrier. With a 40 piece big band playing, and the entire flight deck filled with people under a star filled San Diego summer night - it was a most memorable time for all of us.
Next year we will be attending the conference in New Orleans, and our staff is already lobbying for who gets a chance to go. Past entertainment has included Bill Cosby, Jay Leno, ZZ Top and Lonestar, so you know the stakes are high and staff is on their best game! Good luck to everyone, and we'll see what 4-5 staff get to come with me.