Tomorrow I’m heading for Atlanta GA for a week of meetings. I like Atlanta, a fun city. MARTA, heat, peachetree aves everywhere, what’s not to like? Some years back, it was also the scene of one of the most “these things don’t go together” moments in my professional life. I was working in the wood products industry, and was there for a major trade show. We decided to piggyback some focus groups on top of the show to test some new ads. We picked a hotel near the conference, did the usual solicitation for participants and were off to the races. Two sessions, one early afternoon, one late afternoon. In the room watching with me were representatives from a number of the wood product companies who would support the ads – great way to get their input as people reacted to the ads.
First session was great.
Second session was pretty good too. Up until the point that one of my clients took a quick bio break halfway through the session and returned, white as a sheet. It turns out that the hotel we’d selected was also the hotel for the national transvestite ball. This was a bit of a shock to his system. Some of the others, however, found the whole thing a hoot. Picture this – a bunch of tie wearing, wood selling, outdoor life, hunting guys standing in the hall talking to a group of dress-wearing men getting ready for a ball and just having a great time.
Some of my clients slipped away quietly, others hung out for a bit, and I resolved next time to just do a quick check on what other events might be happening in the area!
Atlanta, here I come!