Quote 2 Cast's Secret Session
With the Quote 2 Cast Summit now only weeks away, a conference agenda built around the Teaming for Success theme is beginning to form up nicely. Quote to Cash luminaries from four continents are clamoring to speak or be empaneled, subject-matter experts from the vendor and client-side alike are jockeying for the prime speaking slots, and the glut of legitimate news outlets and shady paparazzi asking for press credentials has this ATG marketing team member skipping scheduled naps to try to stay on top of things.
Nearly all the allotted session time slots have been filled - except for one glaring omission on the conference agenda. You see, ever since we started planning this year’s summit way back at the beginning of last week, there has been a single 45-minute time slot in the late afternoon blacked out.
I asked Holly Foster, VP of Delivery at ATG, about it and she dodged the question with her own questions. “How did you get into my house? What are you cooking? And why are you wearing my clothes?"
Cagey misdirection, Holly. Very cagey, indeed.
And ATG SVP of Strategy Tom Stergios completely stonewalled me by saying nothing and letting his kids throw rocks at me until I fell out of his tree and ripped my squirrel sack.
Well, an afternoon of concussion testing gave me just the clarity I was looking for. The Summit’s flagship session will surely be the one event nobody is yet talking about, or even willing to confirm. It’s all very much on the down-low, but I believe I’ve solved the mystery of the empty time slot on the conference’s afternoon agenda. There’s going to be a special surprise announcement made at that time.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to be honored with the inaugural Quote 2 Cast Lifetime Achievement Award.
I know what you’re thinking – how can they give out a lifetime achievement award when it will only be the second Quote 2 Cast Summit ever held? Allow me to lay out my evidence before you dismiss the idea as yet another Zima-induced delusion of grandeur.
- Exhibit A: I bought a tuxedo.
- Exhibit B: They said I need to attend the conference. Riiiight. Why would they need a marketing director at a technology summit? That’s just crazy talk.
- Exhibit C: Nobody – and I mean nobody – at work has talked to me in weeks. Most won’t even make eye contact or acknowledge I’m in the same room. Obviously, somebody way above their pay grade is giving the orders because these people, whatever their names are, adore me.
- Exhibit D: At last year’s conference, I talked to five strangers and only threw up twice. I don’t know if they were associated with our summit, but I wasn’t married to any of them. That makes me think I’ve nearly overcome a lifelong battle with my S.S.S.S.A.P.D. (So, So, So Socially Awkward Personality Disorder).
- Exhibit E: Finally, to throw me off the scent, ATG stopped paying me a couple weeks back. I’ve got to tell you, that one almost worked. I was pretty bummed at first but remembered that I didn’t survive all those bicycle wrecks as a kid so I could start wearing a helmet and sundress to work now, and that’s always comforted me.
I’ll concede that it is a bit unusual to see somebody presented an LTAA (that’s what those of us that will have one call it) so early in an event’s history, but it could simply be a hearty acknowledgement of all of my achievements – my lifetime achievements – that ATG would like to pay homage to. When I take a moment and think back, phew… I did some achieving in my many years in and outside the womb.
- In the 8th grade, I was voted Most Likely to Succeed (my grandma said they should’ve stopped after the first syllable of that last word).
- I’ve often been referred to as oddly hamsome for a guy with a face like mine.
- I am a certified N.T.D. Lifeguard on two different Hawaiian islands. The N.T.D. stands for Not Too Deep, meaning if the water is above my waist, I can’t help you other than to blow my whistle and point – but I’m a very good pointer.
- My dog Hercules has been voted Office Dog of the Year the last two years. Not really my achievement, but I do keep him fat enough that eight people can pet him at once, so we’ll check the box on my side of the achievement ledger.
- Finally, I’ve managed to live in Montana for 40 years and I’ve never caught nor killed a single fish. Most would call me a really bad fisherman, but I prefer to think of myself as an unwitting conservationist.
It’s a strong case I’ve presented. I know this.
I’ll wrap this up with a bit of advice for those of you attending the ATG Quote 2 Cast Summit on August 1-3 here in Missoula. Bring some formal wear. Nothing about the theme or culture of our summit warrants it, but I’m pretty sure we’re all in for a big surprise come conference time, and you don’t want to be the only person inappropriately dressed for such a prestigious and, dare I say, historic event.
Oh, and practice your curtsies. In Montana, we curtsy our award winners.
Jay Allen is ATG's Director of Marketing and the only living recipient of the Quote 2 Cast Summit Lifetime Achievement Award - an honor that, while coveted, has no actual cash value.