Ah conferences. Where we ditch the t-shirts & jeans and dress like grown-ups, try to act professional, and shmooze our way through 1,000 conversations while selling our product with enthusiasm. That's what we're here to do.on't let this picture fool you...This is as normal as this conference gets.
Yah that's more like it.
"Rendez Vous" = Huge France-wide tourism conference where we meet with Tour Operators from all over the world and talk and talk and talk about all our tours. Luckily, we're the most fun booth at the conference, thanks to the Brunette Trifecta.
And it's about to get better, as Simon displays his amazing feats of Segway agility.
Whatever that gets you.
After a hard morning of looking ridiculous, playing on Segways, and talking till our voices started wearing out, it was time for lunch. And let me tell you. The French don't PLAY. Lunch time at any other typical American conference would be, what? Like sandwiches and chips? Or if we're really talking fancy, it would be some dried out chicken breast with some sort of cream sauce, and a slice of thawed-out cheesecake. Ho, ho, not so at this conference.
They even had croissants in the morning, and my favorite type of pastry, chouquette puff pastries in the late morning, at the espresso bar. Yep. You heard that. We're in FRANCE.
We get to the lunch area to be greeted by fully set tables stocked with bottles of wine (red and white), bottled water (still and sparkling), and the first course plated, ready to go, a creamy velouté with shrimp and toasted crostini. As the first course.
Second course was duck breast (albeit slightly overcooked), and for dessert...
But there were more Segway tricks to be done.
Now let's take a moment to reflect upon the visual representation of my blood, sweat, and tears over the past 8 months...there it is...a banner.
Crissa is my Easy Pass partner in crime across the 'ol ocean, and this picture surely communicates the professionalism, good will, and teamwork which we exude towards one another.
The next morning at the conference, Sadie took Jillian's place, and this is the morning where all of the banners decide to break. They'd had enough. So we had to be extra creative in the little time we had before potential clients would start flooding our booth with its falling-over and refusing-to-stay up banners.
This was a work of genius by Sadie...
jamming a crappy pen into the end to hold of the force of this 6 foot high sign that is stretched out and threatening to snap shut at any moment and probably maim somebody.
Then another banner collapses, refusing to keep its pole in place, because today the pole decides it will NOT fit into its spot. Here Sadie tries jamming the end of the metal pole with a massive U-lock, hoping to get it smaller so we can wedge it into the bottom opening. We also tried jumping on it, which proved to be less successful.
In the end, all the banners were ghetto rigged into submission, and we were once again ready for a day of talking until our voices gave out.
Let's review: Croissants & chouquettes. Lunch. Wine. Segways. Teaching people to ride Segways. Drinking espresso every 2 hours. That guy, still in his boring booth, just sitting there.
The constant talking for 8 hours straight was exhausting, but all in all, if you have to go to a conference, France is the place to do it.