Monthly Archives: March 2014

You Came, You Saw, You Conquered – Flipboard and Chicagomonium!

Our party started on St. Paddy’s Day with more than 100 of you pond contractors and some of your wives scurrying into the Chicago airports to attend Chicagomonium, an exclusive Aquascape business training event for the best of the best in the pond industry. My role? To teach you rugged yet savvy group of water feature experts how to create and use Flipboard magazines to promote your business.

Flipboard Training at Chicagomonium

Was I shakin’ in my boots? Absolutely!  Although I’ve taught plenty of social media sessions, Flipboard magazines are new to me and I had to acquire a certain level of Flipboard mastery before introducing it to all o’ ya’ll (that’s plural for ya’ll) at Chicagomonium. Not to mention my apprehension about securing robust internet connectivity for almost 200 of you squirreled into a room at Navy Pier. Adding flame to the fire was the reality that everyone would be using different devices to learn the program. Aye Yi Yi! Talk about stress!

So unbeknownst to you until now, I double-dosed my anti-perspirant for the day, hopped in President Heitzler’s Toyota for the ride to Chicago, and hoped upon hope that all the wireless hubspots would work their magic in the room. Don’t get me wrong, I have complete faith in Matt Reibe, our adorable network administrator. It’s the hardware and technical stuff I don’t trust.

What happened the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day with all of you blew me away, and as I write this, I’m still reeling just a bit from the enormity of what transpired during Chicagomonium. Each and every person in the room created their own Flipboard magazine. A few of you over-achievers created multiple magazines! I had wondered if our group of rock-slinging pond builders would crash Flipboard’s system but it held up just fine – as did the wireless hubspots and my anti-perspirant.

What really impressed me though, was the energy and enthusiasm that each of you radiated in embracing this rather new technology. I don’t think I heard a single moan or groan (well, maybe just one but I’m not naming names). But it was more than that … everyone seemed to grasp the potential that Flipboard magazines can offer; from educating and inspiring your customers to promoting your services and products.

I fully realize that you would rather be out in landscapes across America (or even overseas) creating works of art from rock and water. But you were patient, studious, and diligent while hovering over those glowing screens and got ‘er done!  Yep, each and every one of you was a conqueror that day!

A couple days and a few breaths later and I’m back to my normal dose of deodorant.  But my head is still spinning, mostly from ideas that came out of conversations with you over the potential of using not only Flipboard, but all of social media to grow your businesses and the entire water gardening industry!

Now that the party’s over, what’s next? I can answer by saying the party ain’t even close to being over … it’s only just begun! I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep flipping, posting, pinning, and tweeting!

I know, I know. Pond season is upon us and you’re gonna get busy … but now’s the time when your customers are most interested in outdoor living. Now, more than ever, is when you need to keep engaging them and cultivating those relationships that will grow your business.

Now that we got this party started, let’s keep it going by sharing our Flipboard magazines and using social media tools to welcome others into our wonderful world of water gardening! Who are you going to invite?