Last week I had the pleasure of spending a week in San Francisco. Now the city alone is reason enough to be there and have a good time, but in this case I was there with a goal: to attend SES San Francisco 2012.
As you may know I attend a lot of conferences, many of them as a speaker, others as part of the ‘press’ for State of Search. This time around I was part of the Expert Roundtables and I blogged a little for State of Search. But I also had the opportunity to make videos about Geolocation and to ‘hang out’ with the Linkdex team, in this case being Collette, Clarissa and Matt.
If you follow my writings on State of Search you will know that I usually write about developments in the industry. In this post however I want to take a slightly different approach. I’d like to tell you about my experience of ‘working’ with the Linkdex team last week, because even for me it was a new experience, and I’ve learned a lot!
I had personally never ‘worked’ a booth before. To be honest, I still haven’t. Apart from a little help setting things up (buying a TV and mifi, connecting it, that was about it), getting coffee and tea, and breaking it down (more my kind of job ), I didn’t actually ‘do’ much at the booth. But I did have the chance to watch Linkdex at work at their booth. For me being on a booth always seemed to be boring: waiting for people to stop by and then having to ‘sell’ them something. I now know it is not, at least not when you were part of the Linkdex team last week.
Matt and Collette who ‘manned’ the booth worked extremely hard. The choice of taking not the entire tool to ‘show off’ but ‘only’ the Geolocation part paid off so it seemed. There were many people stopping by, asking questions and Matt and Collette seemed to have an answer to all of them. Meanwhile Clarissa kept running around combining blogging and arranging things. I never realised how much was going on at a booth!
The inspiring passion
To be really honest, I would probably be a very lousy booth-person. But watching the people at the Linkdex booth from up close was inspiring.
As someone who constantly asks himself the question ‘why?’ (trust me, I can drive people crazy with that question) I wondered where that inspiration came from. While taking pictures with my camera of the booth it struck me, I was just about to zoom in on Matt showing the tool to someone at the booth when I noticed his eyes: they were on fire, he was explaining what the tool did with pure passion for the product! Minutes later I saw the exact same with Collette, both of them were talking about the product with passion in their eyes. Those people really loved what they were doing! They weren’t working, they were showing off their baby!
That was an eye opener for me, seeing the passion around the tool. I knew the tool was good, that wasn’t it, it was the passion which gave it that little bit of extra. I tell you, it was truly inspiring!
If you think all I did was hang out around the booth and watch the Linkdex people work…. well yes, that was it. No, I’m joking. Of course I had a lot to do myself as well. Because Linkdex took the ‘Geolocation’ as their topic and I was part of the International Search Expert Roundtable sessions I decided to shoot a few videos around that topic with people I thought had something interesting to say on that (you can find them all here).
I also took up my ‘old’ profession of live blogging the session with Matt Cutts and I talked to many, many people. There are a lot of people in the industry I know who I (almost or completely) consider my friends. So a conference like this for me is also an opportunity to talk to these friends and to connect them to each other. Which is why it was nice to connect these people also to Linkdex. I thought they could be interested in the product, and they were. It was nice to see the enthusiasm I saw earlier being transferred to other people as well. Especially when Matt showed stuff which is just in development but will be a ‘banger’ when it comes out, something I would be as passionate about as Matt .
Part of the team
One last thing I’d like to share with you about my experience with Linkdex is the food and the talks. It wasn’t that we had such splendid food (that was “ok”), the conversations, drinks and the fun that came with it were priceless. Eating, drinking, talking with the team and almost being ‘adopted’ into the family made me feel part of the team. It even brought back memories. When I just started out in the late ’90s (yes really, I am that old, I know, it doesn’t show), I worked for a company in Amsterdam which had the same ‘vibe’ to it as Linkdex seems to have. It was nice to have that feeling again for a change, since I’m now working on my own most of the time. It felt good to be ‘part of the team’. So I’d like to thank Collette, Clarissa and Matt for ‘taking me into the family’ the past week!
You know what, I hear they are hiring maybe I should… Nah, somebody else is more fit for that. I’ll just stick to speaking, writing and developing ideas, that is what I am passionate about.
Oh and if you are wondering ‘why didn’t he write anything about the tool, doesn’t he like it?’. Of course I do, it’s great, but that speaks for itself right? After all, it was built and is taken care of with passion.
About Bas van den Beld
Bas van den Beld is a speaker, trainer, online marketing strategist and well-respected blogger. Bas is the owner of Stateofsearch.com and host of the radioshow. — You can hire Bas to speak, train or consult.
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