Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Comfortech Zone

You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the sign post up ahead, your next stop...The Comfortech Zone!

Okay, maybe it only seemed like that. Last week was Comfortech week. Much of the preceding week and all weekend were spent in preparation. No matter how far in advance we begin working on the show the days preceding Comfortech are a flurry of activity. It's my own fault. If you magically gave me another week to prepare I would find two weeks worth of new tasks to fill it.

For example, with the addition of the Brand U seminar, I decided to roll out a new contractor branding guide for the Retail Contractor Coalition. We were still printing them at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning when it was time to stop, pack up, and head to the airport. The day was a blur of travel, set up, presentation polishing, copying, and so on.

The rest of the branding guides were copied in black & white at a Nashville Kinko's. Fortunately, this was version 1.0 of the guide. There are a number of improvements we'll put in the next version, including a comprehensive, step-by-step, A to Z task list for contractors.

If Tuesday was a blur, Wednesday was a non-stop blur. For me, it was the most hectic day of the week. Brand U ran from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. And thanks to Steve Miles from Jerry Kelly Air Conditioning (and Visible Defects) efforts as emcee and the contractors who participated, it was great!

After Brand U, Steve Miles and I led our seminar on Contractor Branding, which was repeated on Thursday and Saturday. It was standing room only and we got some incredible feedback each time we presented.

Next, Mike Weil and I led the Comfortech Newcomers Session. I suggested this during an Advisory Board meeting a couple of years ago. I'm sure I said something like, "Hey Mike, you should offer a newcomer's orientation."

Mike Weil heard me say something like, "Hey Mike, I volunteer to put together and lead a newcomer's orientation."

Fortunately, it was fairly easy to prepare this year. I took last year's presentation and simply updated it.

The Opening Reception followed the Newcomers Session. The Service Roundtable's Best Dang Hospitality Party at Comfortech followed that. And this was just the first day!

Everyone who attended our party was given t-shirts and CDs with the brand new recording of I Wanna Market Me (The Contractor's Song). If you want a CD with the song, send me an email with your name, company, and shipping address.

The rest of Comfortech was nearly as hectic as Wednesday, with non-stop seminars, keynote speeches, the trade show, meetings, more hospitality parties, and after hours socializing through the end.

I commented to one of the Penton Media staffers that I felt like I spent the last two weeks in The Comfortech Zone, which I described as another dimension where time stopped and the rest of the world no longer exists. He nodded knowingly.

I left Comfortech Sunday, but remained in The Comfortech Zone until this morning. Monday afternoon I was scheduled to give a branding webinar, so the day was spent building the webinar using parts of several presentations, including my Comfortech presentation. Monday felt like the Hotel California (i.e., "You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!").

Comfortech was great and this may have been the best show ever, but it's sure good to be home. Now, I've just got to catch up on several thousand emails.

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