Dimitri, Ernie, and I arrived in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon ready for three days of trade showing and entertaining with prospects and clients on the showroom floor of McCormick Place and in the fine restaurants of the Windy City. After setting up the booth on Tuesday afternoon we headed back to the hotel rooms for a quick clean-up and in-box check before heading to dinner at Cibo Matto where we reserved the chefs table for our guests. Along with some customers and prospective customers, Elaine Orler joined us anxious to launch her new venture, TalentFunction. I always enjoy talking with Elaine which truthfully means that I bombard her with questions to get deep insights into the market. She is truly a gem and her willingness and enthusiasm to help others along with her passion for the HR technology space is remarkable. In a world where ‘what comes around goes around’ my guess is that she has a lot coming around that will make TalentFunction a hit (her partner Mark didn’t make it but he stopped by during the show and is another all around smart, great guy!).
Wednesday was show time and we manned the booth with vigor. We’d stepped up this year to a 10×20 booth (the show floor equivalent of a double-wide) along with an audio visual package that included a microphone and plasma screen for demos. It was well worth it and no doubt we’ll continue to expand for future shows. Wednesday evening we scheduled a wine tasting dinner with guests from Adecco, Pixar, and Express Scripts along with Jeremy Tipper (founder of Capital Consulting), and Gerry Crispin (who needs no introduction). It was a resounding success and, in case you’re interested, the two California wines took 1st and 2nd place, the Oregon wine took 3rd, and the French wines rounded out the bottom three (anyone see the movie Bottle Shock?).
Thursday was another great day on the floor where we met many potential customers and, to our surprise, many systems consultants looking to bring CRM methodologies and technology to their customers as part of their overall Talent Management strategy. No doubt we have lots of people to follow up with.
We’ll see you next year!