Friday, August 8, 2008
Back from NYC
Well, I just got back from NYC and my meetings with the Macmillan staff. This is the first time that I have ever got fly anywhere for a business trip and I was excited about going to a new location without having to foot the bill myself.
First, I love Dayton Airport! After going to NY last month from Columbus, I was absolutely crazy how adorably dinky Dayton is. In COL, I had to park about a mile away and wait for a shuttle bus to take me to the terminal. In Dayton, long term parking was about 100 yards away so I could walk right to the terminal. This is I tried the automatic ticket kiosk and loved it! I didn't have to wait in line to get my boarding pass. First, you swipe your credit card and then select "print boarding pass". It's just that easy. Since DAY is much smaller than COL, the security line was very short and it only took about 10 minutes to get from my car to the gate. As of Aug 1, soda pop is an additional $2 and no longer complimentary. I was gone three days and found that I don't need to check a bag. Everything fit in my roll-behind carry-on.
I arrived in NY Sunday evening for a Monday morning meeting. I didn't want anything to go wrong. I landed in LGA (Laguardia) and was in the process of figuring out out to take the M60 bus to the subway when a lady asked where I was going. I told her Penn Station & she said that for $21, she would take me to and from the hotel door. No transfers! I was staying at the Afina hotel and it is directly across the street from the Macmillan Building which houses Madison Square Garden. The "bus" was a van, but very comfortable. When I arrived at the hotel, the desk informed me that the room and "all amenities" were being paid for by Macmillan. When I inquired what all amenities meant, they said meals in the hotel lobby, room service, internet and phone. I got my key card and proceeded to the room. My jaw about dropped when I discovered that I was in a suite! My "room" was the size of a modest apartment! I was on the 24th floor with four rooms and a large balcony overlooking the Manhattan skyline. I unpacked and went to the hotel restaurant for dinner taking an astrology book I was reading. Dinner was fabulous! I then went to the room balcony with my laptop and recorded part one of episode 10 overlooking NYC. The lights of the city at night are breathtaking!
The next morning I went to the Macmillan Building to find a barrage of security stations to rival any airport. It took longer to reach the elevator than the gate at the airport! I was told to report to the 21st floor. When arriving there, I saw a very fancy lobby with a big-screen TV and lots of Macmillan books for browsing.
John Duckett, Director of Marketing, met me and escorted me to the first mandatory stop for our meeting, the coffee machine! I was then led to a large room with projection materials and told my new duties. The plan for me is to mostly run the in-service follow up sessions for schools that have already purchased the program. However, once in a while, when a lot of schools request a sales presentation all at once, I would be doing some of these as well. The plan for the next two days was to have me do practice sales presentations to the Macmillan staff on the three music textbook series. This way, they would be sure that I covered all the major selling points of the books. Another goal was to stop and supply suggestions on the wording of the presentations since I was more knowledgeable about their target audience of music teachers.
After two days of training, I returned to the airport and opened my laptop to find that I was already hired to do a sales presentation! I am going to present to Piqua City School next month.
Last night I interviewed Lois Ramey, orchestra director for Dayton Stivers School for the Arts. She was a very informative guest and I think that her advice to string teachers was valuable.
I will finish episode 10 today and post it on itunes tonight.