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Evolution 2013, First Day

Another CRM Evolution conference is upon us, and Monday (the first day) was the usual whirlwind of catching up with friends and colleagues we haven’t seen since the last industry event. Or longer, in some cases; I got to renew my connection to a few people I haven’t seen in well over a year. Tuesday will be hard brainwork—presenting our sessions, attending others, taking briefings, and generally cramming as much new information into our noggins as possible.

CRM Evolution is one of my favorite industry events because it’s so focused on the exchange of ideas, not just business cards. Vendors are here, but they’re participants in the process, and they all get equal focus. OK, the sponsors and Market Awards winners get a little more, but that’s only fair. This is where thought leaders come to confab, and we all get our paychecks from somebody.

Trade shows like this are one of my favorite working environments, no matter how much I might complain about fatigue, schedule conflicts, or food. Whether we have a product or not, we’re all knowledge workers here, and we’re operating in a rich intellectual soup. The challenge of taking it all in and keeping it straight, forming opinions and making plans based upon them, is the almost purely mental exercise on which we thrive. The importance of physical exercise becomes clear here as well, because conferences can be brutal endurance events.

The thrill isn’t just an academic one, watching sharp minds at the top of their game. What we do here, we use to change the world a little bit. I know, we’re not the heroes who keep folks safe, or provide care to the sick, or stretch the bounds of science. We grease the wheels of economies, and put in place the tools that let the hero types do their wonders more easily and effectively. We help businesses make life a little less annoying, a little more fulfilling. We deliver the concepts that let altruism (and well-intentioned greed) expand worldwide and reach new places. We find new ways to solve old problems.

We make sure there’s an app for that. You’re welcome.