As a life-long product manager, I’ve spent my share of long days enduring booth duty. And many of those days were spent in futile attempts to contort my product’s capabilities into a booth visitor’s challenge in Houdini-like fashion. Booth days are physically taxing under the best circumstances, but the mental strain of repetitively forcing a square product into a round problem is far more exhausting.
That’s why last month’s Shared Assessments Summit in Baltimore was so refreshing. Don’t get me wrong, my back was pretty tight by day’s end, and I was looking forward to a seat at the bar when booth hours ended, but far from being mentally drained at the end of the day, my mind was fresh as a daisy. Unlike most shows, no one was there browsing, or simply using the conference as an excuse to sneak off to an Orioles game and a cold National Bohemian beer (“Natty Bo” in Baltimore-speak). To the contrary, attendees came with challenges, and they were looking for solutions.