I just had a brainstorm a couple of hours ago and the idea has now come completely to fruition. I wanted to attend the Craft Beer Conference this year in San Diego, but I decided I didn't want to shell out all the money involved. It's May 2-5 and it is THE big trade show/conference for the craft beer industry. I attended the entire event in 2010 when it was here in Chicago and it was literally life changing. The conference always sells out every year and this year was no different. But this morning I decided to check out the exhibitor list for the trade show portion of the event and as I read through the list, I decided I really must find a way to attend it for a day (not the whole conference with all the seminars, just the trade show). Most of the vendors I've been communicating with these past few months will all be in one large room, ready to answer questions. I'll be able to get face time with people who will be selling me very expensive items. I think that's important and will help facilitate future communication. The problem with my grandiose plan however, is that you need a pass to get into the exhibit area, and those are sold out too! What's a guy to do? Well, a little light bulb went on in my head: visitors passes. Each exhibitor at the trade show gets passes that they can give to potential customers who can then enter for free. The vendor gets to meet a potential customer and the customer gets to attend an event that is sold out. Good deal all around.
Two emails later, one to a vendor, one to some friends, boom: two visitors passes ready to go. I only need one, so I'll let the vendor know I'm all taken care of. Now that's what you call execution. I won't mention who offered me the passes just in case either party prefers that I not share that info. I think this is yet another sign that I'm on the career path I should be for the first time in my life.
My flight to San Diego is booked, I'll be there for two nights, one full day. That's all I need. I'll be meeting at least 10 vendors with whom I've been corresponding the past two months. Before I leave, I'll be sure to email all the folks I want to meet with and let them know I'll be there. I'll have all my questions in hand, ready to go. Can. Not. Wait.