What does CES and an Association Management Company have in common?

Starting an Association, The Virtual Life : Article

I was asked to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas last week to meet with a client and help with a networking reception hosted by Virtual.  As a first-timer, I found the event super interesting and an opportunity to see and gather a tremendous amount of hands (or eyes) on the experience of what’s in our future.  One of my key takeaways is how CES aligns with many of the values that Virtual lives every day.  How’s that?  Well here are a few key takeaways from a CES newbie.

1. As a director in the client services team, I focus on building trusted relationships with our clients. I was very fortunate to be able to spend a morning at CES with Nobu Ide, Chairman of Wacom and Heidi Wang, Sr. VP of Ink for Wacom. Nobu is the Chairman of the Board for one of my clients, Digital Stationery Consortium.  Having this face to face time at CES, understanding Nobu’s vision and brainstorming strategies with Heidi to drive the community in 2020 will definitely help to build the trusted relationship needed to drive our client’s success!

2. Many of the new technologies centered on improving customer experience and delivering service excellence.  Delta Airlines showcased a Parallel Reality display screen which allows them to enhance the customer experience in airports.  Check this out, as you disembark from the airplane and look up at the big screen to find your gate, rather than a crowded list of arrivals and departures for the hundred travelers standing alongside you, you see just your flight information. Other travelers who look at the same screen, at the same time, see only their own flight information.  It seems hard to believe but expects it to be rolled out in the Detroit airport soon.  As an association management company every day we focus on providing service excellence to our clients. Whether it be in our business model or our new CRM tool, we are always finding ways to enhance the service we deliver to our clients.

3. Virtual recently started working with a new client in the tech standards space, the IOWN Global Forum (Innovative Optical Wireless Network Global Forum).  The work from the forum, created by industry giants including NTT, Sony, and Intel was featured at the NTT booth.  They have a shared vision to look beyond current Internet technologies to build the future communications frontier. Success will demand industry-wide collaboration; behavior shifts and giant advances in technology.  Virtual stays at the forefront of innovation by providing leadership, best practices and strategic guidance to the leading standards-setting organizations in the world!

Alysia Johnson with the VP of Marketing at NTT

4. Days are long at CES but when in Vegas, everyone needs to squeeze in a little bit of fun!  First, Andy, Alysia, Sheila and I enjoyed a night out at the Cirque de Soleil Beatles show, LOVE!  The following night, we served up tacos and tequila for our clients, partners and those interested in tech standards.  Hopefully, the crowd met old and new friends and enjoyed the tequila lesson!

5.Everyone tells you how big it is and they’re right. You’ll never see everything and take this seriously, wear comfortable shoes! We started the day with a client meeting at 8 am and called it a night 25,352 steps later at 11:30 pm, thanks to our CEO, Andy, who believes strongly in walking home, after all, it’s only 5 hotels down!  😉

Attending CES was a great experience that demonstrated the coolest, the most fun, the smartest, the loudest and the wackiest of tech. It sounds like how we describe working at Virtual!

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