This has been an interesting trip, to say the least. And it’s not even half way over yet.
I landed at FLL at a little after 1pm ET on Saturday. After taking a taxi to my hotel (the Westin Beach Resort), I was informed that my room was not yet ready. Fine. I was early. Check-in is at 3pm, and it was only a little past 2:30. That’s on me. I’ll just sit in the lobby with my 3 bags, and wait for the phone call that my room is ready. No big deal. Fast forward almost 45 minutes later … a veritable sea of people have come into the hotel lobby/front desk area, and all are being sent straight up to their rooms. I ask the front desk if my room is ready, and am told “not yet.” So it’s back to the lobby for me. Finally, at almost 4:00, I get the call that I can go up to my room.
After getting my things situated in my room, it’s off to find the conference hall for the conference I’m working. I could find no signs, no one to ask, and the only schedule I’d received at that point was the conference attendee schedule (not the exhibitor schedule). So I start digging through emails to find a contact person for the conference, and send her an email. She replies (surprisingly fast, I might add) that booth set up time starts at 10am on Sunday. After my initial confusion wears off (I was under the impression that the conference started Sunday morning), I decide to go eat since I hadn’t had any food since breakfast at 7am.
I decide to skip Shula’s (right in the hotel) because of the pricey menu - and my lack of info for the max per diem rate for meals that I can charge to the company - and opt to go to Waves Bar and Grill. I enjoy a nice little Cuban sandwich and some vegetable chips, pay for my meal (corporate card, of course), and head back to my room. Roughly 30 minutes later, I realize that I didn’t bring my copy of the receipt back with me. So, I go back to the bar to see if I can get a copy of it. The lady behind the bar says she’ll print another copy from her system when she gets the chance. 30 minutes later (and through body language that indicates she’s clearly frustrated with my request), she gives me my receipt. I later decide that, due to the maximum per diem rate for meals, Shula’s will not see my face (unless it’s the only thing I eat that day). So today will find me looking for other local (cheaper) options.
So, now it’s Sunday morning, and I get out of bed to get ready so I can get things set up. After my shower, I go to shave. Guess what has a dead battery. That’s right! My electric shaver. It seems to have been turned on in my suitcase, and the battery drained. Guess what I didn’t bother to pack. Right again! The cord to recharge the shaver. So I do my best shaving job using only my standard razor, and then head downstairs to the exhibit area so I can set up my booth.
Luckily, the two boxes that were shipped have arrived. I get the tablecloth out, our stand-up sign, and begin laying out the table (exhibiting hours will start at 6pm this evening - so that means no US soccer for me tonight, but I digress). That’s when I come to another realization …. I brought exactly ZERO (0) business cards with me. That’s right. I’m at a conference so I can get my name out there, and I forgot every single business card I have to my name. They are all sitting on my desk at the office in Indianapolis. Another fun little tidbit …. the only information that was sent is information pertaining to my product - even though there are dozens more that the company sells (none of which I know anything about). This should be interesting.