I really enjoy periods of time when I'm experiencing new ideas, people and places and the last week was a good one in that respect.
The week started by helping out a colleague in a PBS training project called the Corporate Support Performance Initiative (CSPI) that we hosted at WOSU@COSI. The training was very focused on positioning public television effectively to garner its share of corporate sponsorship dollars. This was one of the first PTV focused training sessions that I've been involved in. I liked the structure used that really focused on pushing the participants to use critical thinking skills as the building blocks to effective sales skills and knowledge as opposed to a series of powerpoint presentations and role playing that's usually found in such exercises.
This segued into the annual NETA Conference for public television that we hosted in Columbus. I attended several sessions and listened to the many challenges and opportunities PTV is facing in the near future -- the most urgent being the analog shut-off in February 2009.
Having been through so many public radio conferences it was refreshing to participate in a meeting where my knowledge canvas was pretty sparse and the 350 or so folks seemed to enjoy Columbus.
The last session I went to ended mid afternoon on Thursday leaving me with a choice of what to do next as I was coming back downtown for a Columbus Underground Happy Hour after work.
So rather than get the car out of the parking garage, drive back to work for a bit and then drive back downtown I chose instead to walk a few blocks to our great downtown Public Library and use its wireless Internet connection to take care of some emails, etc.
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Now I admit that on this particular day it was extremely cold outside, but, nonetheless, it was somewhat discouraging to me to how few people were out on the street during both my walk to the library (around 15:30) and then to the Tip Top Kitchen (around 18:00).
The walk to and from the library was uneventful but got me wondering why the city seemed to be desolate on a working day before the office workers head out for the day. I'm hoping that it was just the weather but it does worry me a little to see such little activity on the streets of the city during the day.
Luckily, it only took walking in to the Tip Top for the CU Happy Hour to realize that Columbus does have a pulse and its beating pretty strong. Now this was the first CU Happy Hour I've attended and I'm glad I did as the place was packed and a good time was had by all.
This varied sets of experiences -- probably fairly mundane to most -- is really what invigorates me to step out into more unfamiliar places and new challenges. I think back to my week in London and Paris 13 months ago as the last time I was truly able to step into an environment that's contrary to my fairly "normal" suburban public radio life.
Here's to stepping out and tasting something new.