Saturday, January 12, 2008

Vegas Baby, Vegas!

The beginning of the new year always means that our annual sales conference is right around the corner. This year, we had the added dimension of a change in venue from our previous three years to help add a little zest to our yearly gathering. Las Vegas was the place and meeting up with old friends and co-workers, mixed in with the sights and sounds of Vegas, was the name of the game. Our company completely rented out the entire Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas for 3 nights in order to host the over 5,000 worldwide employees who make the annual trip to attend the conference. This year, there were multiple distractions of slot machines, gaming tables, and sports books to potentially reel in a conference attendee on their way to an all important company training session. For most however, the sales conference no matter where the location, always allows for friends to reconnect and catch up and this year was no different.

Meeting up with Dave (at right) at the sales conference is always something to look forward to. This guy lives and breathes fun and when you turn him loose in Vegas, things only get better. Dave and I met when I first started at my company back in Oregon almost eight years ago. He is a local Oregon Kid, just like me, and grew up in the relatively same suburban surroundings as me. We've shared a lot of laughs over the years and haven't let the distance of where we both live get in the way. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be able to host Dave when he came to Singapore on a business trip and we had a great time as always.

The sales conference also provided an opportunity for my team to get together face-to-face, which is not something that occurs too often, given that we are spread out across six major Southeast Asian countries. I am so proud of the accomplishments our team made during the year. Nobody anticipated much from us, as we are an emerging market region. But we successfully proved the cynics wrong and by the end of the year, we had claimed the prestigious position as having achieved the highest revenue results in Asia. The little team from Southeast Asia, made up of members from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines, had beat out the traditional heavy weights of India, Korea, and Australia. The Southeast Asia Team overcame huge challenges and perceptions of our capabilities and became #1. It was a lot of hard work and effort to get to this level and I am so proud of each and every member of my team.