The (executive) Suite Life: Just when you thought I had blogger’s block…

I’ve been fairly well-occupied with special projects related to games.  The biggest one right now is an in-culture marketing opportunity (read: advertising) to the Hispanic community – http://www.gametime24x7.com/loteria/.  By targeting a different product and market, my sales and calling skills are rapidly developing beyond the plateau (worth exploring in another post).

The important thing was that I did not have a whole lot to discuss.  Everything in the office was fairly status quo, until today.  I had the opportunity to experience first-hand the value of working in a shared office environment.  Sales directors, take note: it may be a revenue booster to have a shared office suite through which you rotate your sales team.  The following examples justify my position:

A) I’m helping a really great guy who is fairly fresh in the world of marketing and sales.  He’s looking to establish himself via the Loteria Mix program.  I overheard my neighbor at Avenue Business Center mention that she was involved in buying broadcast advertising time for clients.  Since we need to target professionals who want to buy advertising, I asked her if we could sit down for a few minutes to pick her brain.  She was more than receptive to the idea and gave us both some great pointers on who we should be targeting when we make sales calls.  As it turns out, we didn’t actually want to speak to media buyers, but media planners, who then tell the buyers to buy.

B) This morning, a woman who works down the hall knocked on my door.  She had heard from Mike, the owner of Avenue Business Center, that I run a real estate blog – Do I run a real estate blog?  No kidding. 😉   Her firm, Full Circle International Relocations, Inc., helps international executives when they relocate to the US.  Not only that, but they appear to be one of the few real estate firms (outside of residential brokers) to embrace blogging.  They have a blogger who discusses the relocation industry via www.ReloBlogger.com.  It’s a very clean site that focuses on content and left me impressed.

Two different stories.  In one, I receive valuable time-saving advice.  In the other, two related business activities that can now explore collaboration.

Two business opportunities that could never have happened if we all worked out of corporate offices and only interacted with co-workers each day.  That’s why sales teams should evaluate taking some flextime for their biz dev folks to get out there and meet new circles.

Have a great weekend,
Jacob

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The (executive) Suite Life: Held my first conference meeting

This was a busy afternoon – once I confirmed that all of my computer files were still intact (long story… special thanks to Jon for his support), I met up with a college friend with whom I had worked on computer science projects back in the day.  We were discussing ways to create a website experience that draws in users and keeps them engaged, and he also demonstrated a LEGO pin-hole camera that he built – did I mention he is very creative and good at building things?  We got on the subject of games and he told me he was going to build a MAME cabinet, potentially with an integrated electronic projector – very cool.

After lunch at Potbelly’s, we went back to my office at Avenue Business Center, where we were met by Chris Rollyson and James Bergstrom to discuss how to engage today’s executives using social networking tools, both online and offline.  Since I only have three chairs in the office and hadn’t expected a party of four, we made our way to one of the conference rooms.  It was a perfect space for us to collaborate.  I didn’t even need to make a reservation – Victoria and Kim directed me to available space and it was effortless.  After grabbing cups of tea from the members’ break room, we adjourned to the conference room and spent the next hour and a half brainstorming, idea-sharing and discussing ways that we could all collaborate.  In fact, the space was large enough that we could have comfortably accommodated another 4-6 people, all gathered together to share knowledge.  If I wasn’t a participant, I would have loved to be a fly on the wall, listening to the talk of generational marketing, pain resolution and bringing trust and collaboration into a dysfunctional organization.  We all walked away with new ways to approach our respective business targets, so it was definitely a successful meeting.

Anticipation for my first day as an executive suite tenant

Following a lunch meeting with an organizational psychologist and a SCRUM master to discuss social networking and business development techniques, I’m officially moving in to Avenue Business Center this afternoon. It’s so exciting to take the opportunity to experience the social environment that shared suites can offer, as well as getting to experience the “day in the life” of my clients. I’ll continue to provide my thoughts and feelings as I experience the “suite life”.

Movin’ on up… exploring shared office space in Chicago

When I worked at Microsoft, we often spoke of “dog-fooding” or “eating your own dogfood”, with the idea being that employees were encouraged to test early versions of new software, like pre-release Office or Windows, in order to ensure that it was ready for prime time.  In the world of commercial real estate, I have decided to do the same.  On behalf of the small business segment of my clients, I will be moving in to an executive suite/shared office space so that I can walk a mile in their shoes.  Over the next thirty days, beginning tomorrow, I will be spending a good portion of my office time at Avenue Business Center, located at 500 N Michigan – which is conveniently right along both the #144 and #146 express bus lines from Uptown.

I will be operating GameTime 24×7 – one of my newest business ventures – out of this office in an effort to understand the key elements of shared office space, the concerns or challenges that my clients might find when looking for such space and the social benefits of co-located offices.  By experiencing this first-hand, I expect that I will be able to better serve my clients going forward.  This blog will be the venue from which I share my observations and thoughts over the coming days.