Monday, August 11, 2008

Taking Control

I remember when August in Orlando was supposed to be hot and humid. I had forgotten the one rule of meetings -- never underestimate the power of air conditioning. It seems that at every meeting in extreme climates, people tend to over compensate. In our meeting rooms today with the full blast of the air conditioning, it rivaled a cold winter night. In one of my meetings this past winter in Canada, I noticed the over compensation factor also existed. Most indoor rooms were built too much like saunas.

There seems to be a control factor that people want to exert upon their environment. Why else could one freeze at the hottest time of the year in Orlando, and melt in the arctic climate of Canada in mid-winter? I'd buy a jacket before my next session, but they seem to be out of season in Orlando in August. Go figure.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Annual Flogging

It's time for yet another sales meeting. I remember several years ago when travel and sales meetings used to be fun and games. Even in the bad years, there was still an element of excitement. But then again, I was on the other side of things, learning and enjoying the ride. Since my first sales meeting all those years ago, a lot has changed. Most notably, when the economy gets a bit bad, travel options aren't always the greatest. There's always the added bonus of the company making sure that you need to travel on a Sunday at 5am from California in order to make it to mandatory meetings by 4pm at the other end of the country. It could be a lot worse though.

Destinations are always an interesting lot. This year, we're going to Florida in August. Yes, that's right -- Florida. I guess it's probably off season for business travelers in the area, so I'm sure we got a good deal on our meeting location. Still, when you're at a meeting to learn all sorts of things about your products or services, most people won't be able to concentrate with the temperature and distraction. I've got the added fun, as I'm now one of the instructors.

So, we find ourselves at our annual flogging, er, I mean, sales meeting. Everyone is so geographically dispersed in our large organization. A meeting of this nature is a great opportunity to see everyone that you normally can only see once in a while when you are playing the road warrior game. But, of course, what you always leave behind is a load of paperwork back in the home office that just doesn't go away.

I mentioned the flogging portion. Yes, it's always a challenge to have a bunch of sales people, who by nature do not like to be cooped up away from the challenge of the playing field, sequestered for a few days. Sometimes, in bad years, it's a management team that might be doing the flogging. In other years, it's the sales personnel that start the process. Though, I somehow always wind up as the one who is flogged. So, let the flogging begin!