Just got back from the NCTIES conference held in Raleigh NC. Our company had the privilege of being one of the major sponsors and as such helped to bring the amazing Ron Clark to speak at Thursday's Keynote Luncheon. Wow, what an inspiration for educators today. You may have seen Matthew Perry's portrayal of Ron in "The Ron Clark Story" and Ron definitely resonated big time with the 1200 teachers in the room! He brings a passion to the classroom that is infectious! Ron not only leads a great school in Atlanta, he brings a new twist to teaching to thousands of teachers who visit each year. Ron still teaches 4 or 5 classes a day, amazing dedication! Take the time to watch the video, and have a tissue handy. : )
I always meet a lot of great and dedicated teachers at these conferences and NCTIES is no exception. Teachers appreciate a little time away to recharge their batteries with a little "grown-up" interaction!
Many times at these conferences, businesses/exhibitors hold a dinner or cocktail reception and ONLY invite IT directors and other key decision makers and then proceed to grill that prospect or customer with BUSINESS. In reality, these folks would rather attend an event where all their staff are welcome. We planned with the help of some of our vendor partners an all-night event where everyone could come and hang-out and play a couple of RockBand games on our big screens. Needless to say, it was so much fun, that we had close to 200 people show up and they would not leave! Finally at 10:30, we had to shut down the last Promethean board with Rock Band!
People love to do business with people who accept and welcome; with people who are passionate and fun! Yes, you'd better have a great product and service, but the differentiator is people. By the way, in the midst of the fun, there were great conversations about business, but we let it start from the customer rather than force it. Big difference!