The old dog remembers

This morning I board a flight back to sunny Florida after visiting the ON DEMAND event in Washington DC. Like any industry trade show, I had the opportunity to run into people I know, many of which are Xplor members.

Many of the people I ran into were looking forward to being at the Xplor Conference and Vendor Forum a little over a week away in St. Pete Beach.  One of the members I quipped, “Just what you need, another trade show.”

Her reaction surprised me as she looked me straight into eyes and said “the Xplor conference is not a trade show, it is an event.”  At first, I thought she was being sarcastic but she quickly followed with “for the last two years I have come back with ideas, I met new people and I was able to engage in meaningful dialogue. The Xplor event is different.”

After we finished our conversation with, “see you in a couple weeks”, I continued my trek on the show floor but was haunted by what she said. This being my 26th Xplor conference, had this old dog forgot what the event was and what it represented to the attendees? Was I too close to it and in being so, lost what Xplor was bringing to the table? Had I forgot this event made a difference in the industry?

What other industry event can you listen to great speakers and subject matter experts,
each lunch with them and colleagues, visit with great vendors. Relax and network at the social events?   (There are also lots of surprises for our 30th anniversary year. Get your picture taken with a real Oscar at the Kodak moment, meet Captain Jack Sparrow and be part of the birthday celebration)

She was right. It is an event. The perfect blend of education, information and networking and it is less than two weeks away. I am glad that I ran into her in DC and I thank her for reminding me why we do what we do.

Hope to see you in St. Pete Beach …. I know I am looking forward to it (again).

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This pirate looks at 30

Living in Florida most people are Parrotheads. (Jimmy Buffet fans for those of you who are not familiar) Last night as I was driving home from the office I listened to his song “A pirate looks at 40”. It is about a pirate that takes a nostalgic look at his life.

It got me thinking about the 30th year anniversary of Xplor and our upcoming celebration at the Xplor Conference.

My first conference was in Orlando some 26-27 years ago at the Buena Vista Hotel in Orlando, a hotel conference center. There were great sessions and a pipe and drape exhibit.  Everyone stayed at the same hotel and knew each other by the end of the week. I am still in touch with many of them today through Xplor.

If I look at the past conferences I remember the vast amount of information available as well as the ideas I took away turning them into revenue and cost savings. (enough to raise 8 kids)

My most prized possession is my personal network of “Xplorers” from around the globe who have shared information, helped me solve problems and have recommended a good place to stay, more than once, during my personal travels. Answers are a call or email away.

The Orlando conference set the stage for not only my career but my personal life, as every job I have gotten over the last 25 years is a result of being at Xplor.  I even met my wife at Xplor.

So as this pirate looks at 30, this years program offers you the same benefits: great information, the opportunity to turn information into revenue and building a global network of peers, who will become your friends. (No guarantee on being lucky enough to find a spouse J)

If you would like to join us visit Xplor 2011 and use promotion code XPLORPMC and register for $745 (a $350 savings) and a chance to have your conference fee refunded.

In addition to access to great information and people, full conference registration includes: Access to 60+ educational sessions, general sessions, vendor forum admission, (3) lunches, (3) networking … the best conference and best value in the industry, if I do say so myself.

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Next: I did not forget about Visionary or Visualist!