As I sit on my return flight back home, I find myself reflecting primarily on the many interesting conversations I had with customers, partners and other representatives from various industries all brought together by a common purpose. The GS1 Conference was my first trade show as a member of the sales team at Liaison Technologies, and I can’t wait to participate in the next! It became very apparent that my colleagues were relying on me for my technical knowledge and expertise from the onset. As we puzzled over how to assemble our booth, I was teased more than once with “you’re the engineer, you figure it out!”. I’m a sales engineer, not a civil engineer! I’ll admit that I’m not the most mechanically-minded person in the world, but after some trial and error we managed to set everything up and were ready for the show!
There were a couple of conversations that really stuck out in my mind that I’m about to share. One was with a lovely young lady from one of our resell partners, SPS Commerce. I always enjoy meeting new folks and getting to know them a little bit personally before we talk shop, so she and I related some of our travel experiences in Asia: integrating with a new culture, missing home; all the things any road warrior has dealt with. With that common thread established the conversation progressed naturally to travel for business, and the consulting world. What I found most interesting was how our partner resold some of our solutions in their target markets, namely translation and integration solutions. I don’t want to give away any trade secrets but suffice to say there are definitely some possibilities I hadn’t considered before, and probably would never have without the interpersonal sharing of ideas and techniques.
Another conversation I found particularly interesting was with a gentlemen representing the Canadian federal government looking for a data management solution. Their business pain was in the gathering of geographical, agricultural and demographic information from the various provinces, and then collecting them into a single source with a common format in order to make intelligent business decisions. I jokingly referred to them as “The Canadian Feds” but trust me they were definitely the good kind. Data management was one of the prevailing themes at the GS1 Conference, but out of all the discussions I had heard around it this was by far the greatest in scope. There are a certain set of unique challenges when working with the government, let alone the federal government from another sovereign nation, international commerce law and bureaucratic processes being just a couple. However, the opportunity to partner with a nation’s federal government to address a problem of this scope is exactly the kind of challenge that Liaison seeks, and I was thrilled to have been involved in the initial discussion and can’t wait to see where this goes.
I certainly learned a lot and plan to use this knowledge in my day to day business as well as future shows. I hope everyone enjoyed the GS1 Conference as much as I did, and I absolutely believe we need to make sure we attend each year if this year is any indication of the level of value it can provide to its attendees.