Sales professionals know and understand that part of their job includes traveling to conferences and shows. We usually look at the calendar and plan our life, families, and vacations, around these conferences. We have come to see them as a necessary evil in order to promote products for small business, to have brand awareness, and get demonstrations of new products in front of the customers.
I looked at the calendar and had seen that the next conference coming up is GovEnergy in St. Louis, MO. My first thought quickly thinks of the lost times I will share with my kids, the date falls right on the first week of kindergarten for my son. I think of the sadness I will feel not being here for him, but the optimist that I am, I know he will do fine for a couple of days without mommy.
My joy then turns to think of all of the opportunities that will arise at the conference. A dinner meeting with our partner company to kick off GovEnergy at one of my favorite local Irish Restaurants and Pubs called Mc Gurks in St. Louis. I envision the city skyline, the Mighty Mississippi River and the Famous Arch. I review in my head a list of existing government customers I would like to make sure to meet with. I look over the great technical symposium that they have put together for this year. I start to think about all of the great opportunities to market and sell products that I love, and that at the same time help my family survive while also helping the economy and the federal government and the environment to lower the energy consumption from foreign oils, etc. This brings me great joy and I love my profession. It would have been my 10 year anniversary attending the GovEnergy Conference. I look forward to it every year.
This morning I get into my office and start to look through my emails that I let build up over the weekend while spending quality time with my children. I see a note from an existing customer—“GovEnergy is Cancelled” with the typical connotation of a frownL in text. I quickly replied, what do you mean, your agency is not attending? Do they not have the budget for the show? While I was awaiting a reply another co-worker forwarded an email from a GSA staff member stating that official letters have not yet been released but that GovEnergy is indeed “postponed”. It must be true, I called MC2 and they confirmed that it is true. Sadness filled my body and I started to think of the lost opportunities this offers my family, my business, many other businesses, and the local economy of St. Louis.
I am not sure that I have come to terms with it as I sit here and write about it. A conference that has been such a staple in my career has been canceled. As much as I try again to reverse my mood and be optimistic and think of being here for my son on his first week of Kindergarten, I can’t seem to kick the disappointment. I would like to know if you have attended GovEnergy in the past and what is it about the conference this year that you will miss.