Last week I attended an HR conference in Vegas as a part of my big girl job. Over the years I've attended many HR events and mingled with interns, CEOs and everyone in between. At this event I met people from a company who was exhibiting and they brought in toilets and filled them with ice and beer. Their marketing strategy was 'don't flush something down the toilet' and they invited people to come take selfies on their porcelain throne...
Now, I have never been a cardigan wearin', soft spoken, debutante kinda gal but I even had my doubts about this one. These are HR people here to learn about how to respectfully and legally tell people like these toilet toting frat boys that they need to pack it up.
These PG rated HR goers LOVED IT! They were literally drinking beer out of the toilet coolers and posting these pictures on Instagram for all to see.
I said to the exhibiting toilet attendant "I can't believe it actually worked but people cannot stop coming over." To which he replied, "if you think this is good, you should've seen our space brownie table we set up at a Denver event...."
I must've looked really surprised and he said, "at the end of the day people are just people. They might all have different jobs and serve different roles but they just want to have fun and be around people who make them feel fun."
It was really creative marketing and it opened my eyes a bit more to how people do business with each other and how I do business both personally and in my career.
Since I started my job at 22 I always struggled with trying to make people believe I had more clout and was older and wiser. So I bought a bunch of ugly pant suits and carried a leather briefcase to onsite meetings. I created this fake version of myself. I basically became Romy and Michelle after they invented glue and post-its but I never got any 'business woman specials'.
Over the past few years I've noticed that the more I've been my true self, the more successful I've been. I make it a point to listen to people and learn about their lives or connect on a deeper level. I talk like I normally would, burned all my pantyhose and let myself be the person they actually wanted to hang out with.
While I don't think I'll be catering space brownies at my next event or showing up in a mini skirt to my high school reunion - I do think that I'll keep challenging myself to stay true to who I am both in the boardroom and at home.
I hope you'll do the same and serve your life's purpose as the amazing person that you are! Be the life of your own party and the guest list will be rockin'!