Being at the airport at 5 am is not an easy thing to accomplish! Especially if you didn’t finish packing or got enough sleep the night before. But we got there in time, went through the check in, the security check and had another hour to kill before boarding.
The flight to Munich was easy, the next 10 hour flight no Chicago was a different story. I was planning to sleep a lot, so was Silviana, but none of us actually did. What happened? Well we got to our hotel in Rosemont at about 1.30 pm and ended up sleeping until 7 pm. We woke up to no converters at the hotel and had to go buy one at the nearby mall. And so we said goodbye to our sight-seeing plans.
The next night I could get no sleep of course. Thank God I had 2 series and a half from Angel with me 🙂 So at 8 am we went to have breakfast and head to the Stephenson Convention Center where ISPCON took place. We were sponsors of the Email Center and also had our exhibiting Kiosk. One of the computers in the center was not working, no browser had been redirected to the AXIGEN homepage and we were told to do it ourselves, if we knew how to 🙂 Wow! So we paid quite a lot to be a sponsor and an ISPCON IT girl at the same time!
The first day was pretty quiet. So I thought it would be great to go visit the Press Lounge! Maybe some had already arrived! Tough luck, it was empty! And this part of the event didn’t change much over the next two days. But there were plenty of visitors, who turned out to be potential clients, partners or investors. But I was right, exhibiting always stands in your way. Being a sponsor gets you almost the same awareness and you are free to meet everyone you want. Then again, Jupiter Media had a weird deal for ISPCON that did not allow a company to be a sponsor without exhibiting.
On the second day, I had lunch with Barbara Rozgonyi of WiredPRworks. It was really great meeting her and she provided great insight about what we should see in Chicago. If you are wondering, she looks 10 times better than her photo and she has an incredibly warm smile. If you’d like a photo of the two of us and a way better story on our meeting, see Barbara’s entry!
Our time visiting downtown Chicago? About 3 hours. But we tried to make the best out of it. Yes, we were real tourists, went to the Navy Pier, got on the huge wheel near the carousel to take better pictures, bought the photo they took of us while going on it and so on.
We then got hungry, of course. And chose a Mexican restaurant where I had Loco Wings. And that they were, spicy enough to make you go loco, but so tasty I could not believe it! To have a complete experience, we drank Bud 🙂
And for the grand finale, we walked among the skyscrapers in the twilight, seeing all of them light up and making it all bright.
The ISPCON event was ruled by men. Only a few women, we were a bit overdressed, the evening events didn’t really appeal to us. If I ever want to gamble, I’ll gamble in Las Vegas, not in some Convention Hall in Chicago. The event is not that big as one would expect considering how well promoted it is. From what I heard, HostingCon is a better alternative for some. I think it still was a great start to find out more on the US market, to find out what people want to know and where they’d like to go.
So on the third day of our story we said goodbye to our Launchpad colleagues packed our banners and went to the airport. Next stop, NYC!