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Posts Tagged ‘American Airlines’

Shooting from the Hip — 6.10 (More Favorites)

June 2nd, 2010 COMMENTS

Shooting from the Hip (trade show tips)

Shooting from the Hip by Reid Sherwood

More Favorites

Last week was moving week for the Sherwood family. This week is putting stuff away week. How can a family with two house fires in less than two years have this much stuff? I’m blaming an 11 month old girl. Little Reida (not really her name, but it is MY blog) weighs 17 pounds and takes up 1100 square feet of living space. Once we actually re-purchase bedroom furniture it won’t seem so bad.

Last week was also favorite’s week. Food and beverage favorites to be exact. Here are some of my other favorites, and the why’s. I have nothing to base these on but my opinion, so if you don’t agree, that’s fine.

Favorite AirlineAmerican Airlines. When you travel as much as I do, you notice that things tend to go wrong.  Unless you learn to deal with that quickly, you will be in the cardiac care unit. Everyone thinks that it’s all about points and miles. And it is to a point. But when things go wrong, it’s how an airline handles it that sets them apart. Because I fly from Grand Rapids most of the time, and American has a small presence here, I have gotten to be friends with some of the gate agents. In my case, a quick phone call to them and many things get “fixed” (and you don’t ask questions). They take care of their customers.

Favorite Hotel ChainHILTON all the way. They know customer service like nobody else. I have been a diamond member for 11 years now. They ONLY thing they do that bothers me is that they refer to me as Mr. Sherwood. Mr. Sherwood was my father. I am not old enough to be Mr. anything. It seems as though sometimes they can read your mind. It doesn’t matter if you stay at a Hampton Inn or the Conrad. The service is always impeccable. And their loyalty program is second to none.

Favorite Car Rental Company – Here is where I have NO loyalty . . .  this is all about MONEY or saving it. Lately I have been using Priceline and have gotten some great deals. Only a couple things matter to me about a rental car. First – it must be a 4 door. I was cool 30 years ago. Now I am practical. The other thing that matters is that it’s an American-made car. No, I am not prejudice. American cars allow your cell phone to charge while the car is off and you are at an appointment.

Newaygo, Michigan

Newaygo, Michigan

Favorite City to Visit – This is a mixed bag. As a general rule, I am not a fan of cities, which is why I live in Newaygo, Michigan. But if I were picking favorites, I’ll break it down into super large cities and small cities.

Super Large – Chicago. The Rush Street life is great and the pizza rocks.

Small Cities – This is a coin toss. Both Savannah, Georgia and Portland Maine are great towns. They offer much of the same. Lots of history, great seafood, small homey atmosphere. Savannah has great music on the waterfront every night, so I guess that is the deciding factor.

Favorite Sunset – There are some awesome sunsets around the world. I don’t believe there is a better one than at the end of Mallory Square in Key West, Florida. And they serve cocktails there.

Favorite Stadium – Emotions aside, I think the greatest place to see a game is Joe Louis Arena — possibly because I am a Michigander at heart — probably because it is just that special of a place — absolutely because you get to throw octopus on the ice! There’s no place like it.

Favorite TV Show – Anyone who knows me very well knows that I am a sitcom junkie. It comes down to four shows:  MASH 4077, Friends, All in the Family, and Seinfeld. My favorite is Seinfeld. How they pack so much laughter in a 30 minute show is amazing to me. I have seen every episode a dozen times. I don’t even have a favorite. Just all of them.

Favorite Exhibit CompanyClassic Exhibits by a light year. Home of the Portable Hybrid: Sacagawea, Magellan, Perfect 10, and Visionary Designs.

Now if I missed anything of importance, please comment and let me know.

Talk to you next week  . . .

–Reid Sherwood

Word on the Street — May 3rd thru May 7th

May 9th, 2010 COMMENTS

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

What’s Your Corporate Culture?

Do your customers and stakeholders share your perception of your corporate culture? Too often, the answer is an emphatic “NO!”

I read an interesting blog post this week regarding American Airlines. Let me start out by saying that I am an “American Guy” when it comes to flying. I fly American Airlines almost exclusively. Having said that, this blog posting really made me reflect on my recent AA flights and realize a few things.

The blog posting, Becoming a Bus Company, is by Seth Godin. He mentions American as an example of a company that has let its standards and culture erode. It’s a symptom of companies (and cultures) under long-term stress. And certainly, no one would deny that the airline industry has faced repeated crises over the past 10 years beginning with 9/11.

When I think about recent flights I’ve had on other airlines, I realize that there was a more positive energy on those airlines.

In the end, it is a Corporate Culture problem. You have to shed your visions of the pretty ad campaigns on TV and print. Culture is not created there, rather it is created in the actually environment. What do people feel and see when they are in your workplace?

Don’t get me wrong, we all put on a little extra lipstick when we’re out in public talking about our businesses, but once someone walks through our doors, it becomes much more difficult to “hide” any product, people, and culture issues.

Ironically, someone sent me a video clip from Tony Robbins this week that talks about building Brand Culture.

What’s your Brand Culture and is it a key competitive advantage in the marketplace? As he mentions, you have to create a culture where others want to do business with you. Once they do, they stick with you. Its the Coke vs Pepsi argument. You either like one or the other right?

So, my beloved American Airlines, after this week and some reflection, you have a lot of work to do I am sorry to say. I will still probably keep flying with you, but with so many other options out there, I am not sure for how long.

What are some good and bad examples of Corporate Culture or Corporate Branding you have seen recently?

Please share your comments here.

Happy Mother’s Day to all! And a very special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom.

Be well and have a safe and restful weekend.

–Kevin Carty

Word on the Street — April 5th thru April 9th

April 11th, 2010 1 COMMENT

Word on the Street by Kevin Carty

Got Any Secret Travel Tips?

Busy week. On Monday and Tuesday, we hosted a small group of distributors for an extensive training session. On Wednesday, I was putting the final touches on a business trip for this coming week. I’ll be traveling to three separate destinations, and each destination has a distinctly different agenda. This is a complicated trip, and it made me realize that although I travel frequently, I don’t consider myself either a road warrior or an travel expert.

However, experience has taught me a few things about business trips, so I’d like to share some of my tips. There are many readers of this blog who travel far more than me, and I know everyone would enjoy hearing your tips, tricks, and insights for a successful business trip too.


When I start planning my trip, I focus on “anchor appointments.” These appointments should be scheduled at least three weeks in advance if possible. This is especially critical. It helps you plan your flights, hotels, rentals, and other appointments. Setting appointments well in advance of the trip means that you respect your client’s time and by extension that they respect your time and the effort and expense you’ve made to visit them.

Next, I try to have the rest of my schedule set two weeks before the trip. Then, if someone has to cancel or to move an appointment, I have time to shuffle my other appointments . . . although it can be difficult to make schedule changes at this point.

Now, what are my goals for each appointment? It depends. Some appointments are as simple as saying “Hello,” making sure we’re doing a good job, and taking the distributor to lunch or dinner. Those appointments rarely happen anymore. As Classic and ClassicMODUL have added product lines and online features, I’ve found that distributors are hungry for product and website training, industry news, and sales and marketing feedback.

Some appointments can be 3-4 hours long where I am conducting a complete product overview, including a “dog and pony” show of multiple products and services. Those usually are accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation created and tailored for that specific client.

Lastly, there are the 30 minute appointments. They are few and far between but are often the first step in building a relationship with a prospective distributor. I usually have two or three of these on any given trip. They offer me an opportunity to put a face to a name/voice . . . sort of a quick speed date to get formally introduced, answer some questions, and drop off some samples.


Now the flights. Personally, I like Sunday flights. Red-eyes if I am traveling to the East Coast so I can just hop of the plane and start my day. Plus, it means I can spend all day Sunday with my family. Many think I am nuts for doing this, but I will let you in on a little secret that Dave Brown from Optima, Reid Sherwood, and I know all too well.