Comments from the client after we gave them our pitch this morning:
"I feel like we asked you to go big and to show us what different would look like and you did it. Change is always uncomfortable, but you definitely gave us what we asked for. Now we just have to figure out what to do about it. You've started some really important conversations. Thank you." (main branding guru)
"I don't know if this solution addresses all of our needs, but I deeply appreciate the thinking that you've done. It's obvious that you were very deliberate in your approach. Thank you." (VP in charge of it all)
"I love the circular video screen. Everyone else there has a huge rectangle. I like that you're opting out of the arms race with the other booths." (Video Guy)
"I love the open, round demo pods. I love the thinking there." (person in charge of press relations)
"How am I going to convince someone who thought they were getting an entire room to be happy with two monitors?" (Operational Person in charge of booth needs)
"We love the idea of one game taking over the entire booth in wav3s. That sounds fantastic." (multiple people). (that idea was mine...)
Overall, we went in with an agency approach (big strategic thinking) and they responded well. Phew!!
Many people on my team (not MM) have thanked me and commented that this wouldn't have happened without me. My General Manager sent me a personal note: "Your calm influence, great perspective and positive attitude helped everyone through this — and I am sure there were times you wanted to bang a few heads together! I've had great feedback on the meeting today and am thrilled it went so well."
One of the ironies is that the strategy guy wasn't really able to pitch the booth section. As anticipated the clients couldn't help themselves and jumped in with many, many questions. All the issues that I'd raised and considered were the very things they wanted answers about. MM's dismissive responses during the process weren't going to work in that situation, so I presented my pragmatic, logistical solutions as if the team had worked them out. In the end, I have to give him my begrudging respect (he WAS right about needing to take them further than their comfort zone), and hopefully he won't be as dismissive in the future.
The client is regrouping tomorrow and will give us feedback on Monday.
I, on the other hand, am taking a comp day. I was going to do a run to Joshua Tree this weekend with my two climbing partners, but all three of us have been overwhelmed by life and so instead we're taking a day off together (vs a whole weekend). We were going to do a day trip to a local climb, but it's supposed to rain all day (and you can't climb the local sandstone in the rain; you damage the rock). Instead, tomorrow will include brunch at Graceful's house, wedding dress shopping for Petite Slovakian and then climbing at the gym.
I feel like a huge anxiety bomb rolled off my back this morning without exploding...