The spring, 2007 Vista and Office tour was one more in a series of road shows that CAVCOMM has staged for Microsoft since 1994.
For the Vista and Office 2007 Launch, we put five teams on the road, traveling to 59 locations over six weeks.
Each team drove a 53’ semi-truck loaded with audio and video equipment, computer hardware, registration gear and collateral materials–everything Microsoft needed for the presentations except the laptops that their presenters would use.
CAVCOMM events manager Scott Gilbert helped Microsoft plan the event, recommending and scheduling the AV gear that would be needed. About two weeks before the first presentation, Microsoft shipped all necessary materials to CAVCOMM warehouses in Skokie, Illinois, Sacramento, California and Washington DC. From there we loaded our trucks and sent off our technicians.
Microsoft held the Vista and Office introductions in hotels and conference centers throughout the United States. CAVCOMM technicians set up three presentation areas in each location, for audiences ranging from 50 to 500 people.
Our technicians would arrive the evening before the event, often working most of the night, then returning at 6:00 a.m. for a preshow run-through. The 2007 tour was particularly challenging because of the heavy snows that blanketed much of the country in March, especially upstate New York. Bad weather notwithstanding, we were able to start each of the 59 all-day events on time.
One reason Microsoft uses CAVCOMM for these events is our extensive logistical support. “For example,” says Gilbert, “about 6-7 years ago we came up with the idea of warehousing and distributing collateral materials to save client costs. Obviously we charge for the service, but if you compare our costs with the cost of assembling and shipping the materials to each location and then shipping leftovers back, the difference is huge.”
This sort of creative thinking is what built the relationship with Microsoft. “It’s more of a partnership now than a client/vendor relationship,” Gilbert explains.
Pictured: event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, February 27, 2007.