Circumstances at work yesterday required me to man our booth at the NAMB 2005 National Convention here in Minneapolis at the convention center. I ended up going in the place of our Director of Operations. As you might imagine, I was none too pleased with this outcome…but I came to grips with my lot in life and off to the convention I went.
After a bit of time in the booth, things get old quickly. So, I told my coworkers I was going to go look around at the other booths and made my way over to “Aisle 100” and started walking up and down the aisles. Being a vendor at the show and having only limited cargo capacity, I judiciously chose which chotchkies I picked up as I walked from booth to booth. I saw some amazing products…there really is quite a bit of domain expertise in the mortgage space, and a lot of it was on display as I walked the show.
As I’m walking the show, I notice a bunch of people in an obviously confused state over at the big Ellie Mae booth. They were trying to get the buttons Ellie Mae was giving away to flash. I stopped to contribute my problem solving skills to the situation…eventually we figured out that the light would start flashing once you clasp the pin portion of the button, completing the circuit. I pinned the badge on my chest, with the little LED flashing away, and continued to walk the show.
The next aisle over I had noticed a neat little giveaway that I figured I could use as an iPod holder here at work. I approached the booth, and out of nowhere, completely unexpected, I hear this shout from behind, “You’re our first winner!” I turn around and there are three representatives from Ellie Mae. I’m sure they saw the confusion on my face…I found out the explanation for the situation as they pointed to my Ellie Mae badge which I had put on minutes earlier. They invited me back to their booth and we proceeded back.
I still had no idea what I had won at this point…as we walk up to the booth I see a sign posted above the container I had fished my flashing light button out from earlier…
Be seen wearing this badge, win a Sony PSP!
My heart skipped a beat, I’m sure. I’d never really considered buying a $250 portable gaming system, since I’m not really a big computer gamer, but getting one free was certain exciting! I shook the VP’s hand and posed for the picture as he handed me my PSP, smiling from ear to ear. I spent a short bit of time discussing with one of their salespeople the issues we had run into when we tried to get Encompass to run in our environment, found out they were hosting the product themselves (with the same code fixes we thought would be necessary to make it cost-effective) and walked back to our booth, grinning, still a bit in disbelief over what I had just been given!
I’ll write more about my new PSP later on…suffice to say, today was unexpectedly a great day!