Alright so I didn’t exactly drop kick Mark Messier but I did cross paths with him at an event in Las Vegas last week. It was the opening day of our very first corporate national conference. We held the event at the Venetian Hotel on the strip. The first event after the registration desk closed was a cocktail reception at a bar called Dos Caminos. The event was starting at 8pm so my business partner, Gord Ross and I decided to get there a little early to ensure that they had everything set up properly and that the sponsor logos and tent cards were appropriately placed.
So we walk in and are introduced to our host, we give him the DVD with the sponsor logos and discuss how the evening will roll out. They have the back half of the bar roped off about halfway down the bar and all the way across the restaraunt. It looks great, there is signage up where there is an entrance to the roped off area and it appears that our host has everything well under control. Fabulous. Gord and I decide to head over to the bar inside our section to grab a drink and relax a little before everyone starts showing up. We are standing at the bar and there is a gentleman sitting at the corner of the rope and the bar just outside our area. I watch as 4 people walk up to join him and also watch with disbelief one gentleman and a women duck under the rope and stand at the bar inside our area. Now this is our first event, we are shelling out a lot of money for food and I am not really interested in having the general public eating our food. I politely go over and tell the fellow that we have a private event starting in about 15 minutes. Thats it, just a friendly FYI with a bit of an underlying “get back on your side of the rope”. The guy gives me this wicked “who the hell are you” look as Gord and I go grab a seat and await our guests. After about 10 minutes of me complaining to Gord about the nerve of some people our guests start to arrive and I forget all about it.
About 30 minutes later I am talking with someone who I can see is looking over my shoulder. They say “Holy smokes, do you know who that is?”, I turn around to look just as they say “That’s Mark Messier!”. I’m mortified. It was the dude at the bar. So I laugh and say “holy shit, I think I just bounced Mark Messier from our party”. And the fuse was lit. Within about 5 minutes it circulated around the whole party that “Did you hear? Mike bounced Mark Messier!”. It was tweeted by a few and I soon had Twitter replies from followers in Edmonton asking me what the hell I was thinking. The story seemed to get larger and larger each time I heard it and we joked about how by the time we got home the story would be something closer to “Did you hear? Mike drop kicked Mark Messier out of our party”.
The facts are a little less dramatic as it wasn’t actually Mark that I spoke to it was one of the guys in his party. Many of our guests made their way up to say hello to him and he was very gracious by giving some time to all. While he did not want his photo taken at the bar, he did say he would let some of them know when he was leaving and they could get a picture out front.
I think the best part was two days later when one of our speakers was talking about the 90/10 rule of sales and how much easier it is to be the 10 vs. the 90. He used the example of celebrities and how people know and recognize them. After the Messier story this received a huge laugh which unfortunately our speaker was in the dark about. One of many great experiences to come out of our first ever conference. Thanks to all who shared and made it come together.