One expectation that this new job of mine has is that I travel occasionally. Both my outings thus far have been training exercises rather than the absolute norm of my employment, but it looks like there are some other opportunities off on the horizon. While looking for employment, one of my hopes was that I find a global company where I could put some of my travel savvy to use. And indeed, I’m certain that I have come across such a place.
I’m a member of the sales support team, so my first trip was to Nashville for the International Erosion Control Association Conference where I was to get exposure to our products and also get to know some of the others I’d be working with. I was pretty excited about this outing, and felt very much like a ‘big boy’. Not only that, but the only amount of time I’d ever spent there was in the car while passing through. I flew off and arrived in the early afternoon, and taxied over to the mammoth Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Yeehhhhaaaawwwwwww Nashville!
I had heard the place was large, but I was blown away at the sprawling complex. This thing had numerous blocs of rooms situated around conservatories, and then there were the conference halls, which numbered many. During those few days, they hosted a gymnastics meet, wedding reception, the IECA conference, some medical device show simultaneously, and all sorts of meetings. Here was just one of the three enclosed areas. I believe that this is the with a river, and riverboat ride…
My time at the booth started with a whole lot of shadowing the other sales guys to learn how they respond to different lines of questioning. There were two full days of this, and definitely by the end I felt pretty confident initiating and carrying conversations with our patrons. There was also a lot of opportunity for me to interview the sales team about how one in my [newly conceived] position could be of greatest value.
A perk of one’s company being at the forefront of the Erosion Control industry means that we have some more resources to budget into marketing. We were the Summit Sponsor of the whole thing, but also put our names on a couple other events as well. The most entertaining of these was an open bar event for our industry friends and customers. This was an enormous success that surpassed the expectations of everyone. The food and spirits were all themed to match one of our new products.
Things would have been a bit on the tame side if our night were to end there, so once our guests had moved on we all formulated our next moves. Everyone from the top on down to the young blood like me met in the lobby and cabbed off downtown. The 20ish of us arrived to a local brewery for a few drinks and some pocket billiards. We then started a migration to a piano bar, somewhere else, and then finally to some honky tonk. People peeled off after each stop, but there were about 6 of us enjoying the live music in this last, crowded little locale. I didn’t get to do a whole lot of tourism, but this was just what I was hoping for.
My other outing took me to rural Pennsylvania. I’ve ridden through here ages ago on a family trip, but I never got to spots so our there as these. I was going to meet one of our Market Development Managers to learn firsthand what he does. I flew into Harrisburg and was picked up and driven along the frozen Susquehanna River over to Williamsport. The one and only thing that I learned about this town is that it hosts the Little League World Series every year. I struggle to understand why somewhere so big is held so far out of the way. The field was just on the other side of this building
After a long day of driving through the snowy countryside, we checked into our hotel and decided to explore the sustenance offerings of the rural town. They did have a microbrew where the two of us got some great burgers and spent a couple hours chatting over a few of their offerings. I certainly had a good time there, but he also imparted some great advice.
When it was all over, I was dropped back at the airport and sent off on my way. I do feel like I was able to take a lot away from both of these events and will absolutely be looking forward to anything else coming up. I’m glad to have had the opportunity to see how the two very different worlds of corporate and outside sales both work. Although once at the airport, I was mostly just impressed that these things still fly.