Firsthand experience of Love's annual manager meetings
This is a guest blog by Andrew McDonald, Love's videographer, photographer and writer.
Finally, you arrive at the Cox Convention Center, and all you want is your hotel key. Your muscles ache from the four-hour flight, the Oklahoma City wind bites at your face and hands, and the wheels on the $20 carry-on you bought from Target - you don't travel often, after all - squeak-squeak-squeak with every step and make you wish you had splurged on that sleeker Swiss Gear model.*
You open the convention center door and hope, regardless of whatever else awaits, the hotel check-in line won’t be too long. You take your first few steps inside, and right as your luggage wheels squeak-Squeak-SQUEAK one too many times, a welcoming voice echoes across the lobby.
"Hi, there!" To your left: A young woman smiles and waves. Behind her, a banner reads: "Welcome, Love's Managers!"
Two hours later, you're watching the Cowboys-Packers game on a TV set up at the Red Bull kiosk. You've already caught up with the familiar faces and gotten acquainted with all the new ones - or a few, at least, since there are so darn many. You've already filled up on the unlimited chicken and turkey wraps; you've already enjoyed the complimentary chair massages; you've already filled your tote bag with your store's new iPad and maybe one or two of those Mutant Super Sodas the Monster reps were handing out. You've already visited the virtual reality room and had your mind blown that it really was as awesome as everyone said.
And you've already learned looking like a nerd never looked so cool.
You finish your second Diet Coke, crack open a third and wonder how this could get any better. Little do you know that by the time you go home, you will have sat in on a town-hall-style meeting with the Love family, been treated to a performance by The Second City, and have visited the Star-Trek-themed IT and Operations Services booth at Info-Mingle.
Set phasers to "fun."
You laugh at Keith's newest crazy story and miss a Cowboys' touchdown. Whether you cheer, groan or laugh because you don't care about sports, your hotel key sits in your pocket, forgotten.
Welcome to the LEAD Conference.
Where the photos are great, but the photobombs are better.
*Love's was not financially or otherwise compensated by Swiss Gear for the not-so-subtle endorsement of their product; the writer just really, really likes his Swiss Gear luggage.