I imagine if you live anywhere other than Calgary, you might be under the impression that the annual Calgary Exhibition and Stampede has the potential of being the biggest networking event the city experiences all year. If you believe that, you’re dead wrong cowboy.
As a long time resident the Stampede City, I can tell you first hand that, other than caterers, event planners, bartenders and servers, very little work is getting done during this 10-day extravaganza. Networking and wheeling and dealing are on no one’s mind.
Having said that, from a business standpoint, this is a very unique opportunity. This is when corporations reward their best customers by inviting them to corporate Stampede functions. Nobody cares that they are going to be watered with beer and coolers and fed the usual diet of beans, burgers and pulled pork. I’ve eaten enough that my stomach warns me in advance not to repeat the previous year’s folly.
No, that’s not the point at all. The point is to be invited and seen by your counterparts as someone worthy of the invitation. Maybe you’ll even get your picture in the paper or a tweet out at having been seen at the Stampede Roundup event.
I used to work at one particular host law firm where our clients had their secretaries, executive assistants and low level management working the phones like mad to ensure their boss’s name was on the coveted complimentary ticket list. It is that important!
So if you are considering coming to our fair city during the Greatest Show on Earth to do a little business, save your money and stay home. However, if you insist on spending the big bucks on flights and hotels, (enough to rival New Orleans Mardi Gras), it truly is the public relations event of our year. You can even try your luck at photo bombing a few movers and shakers for Alberta Oil Magazine.
Come, be seen, kick up your heels, but you might want to leave that extra box of business cards at home.