The exhibit hall closed Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Lorre and Brianne had already packed up our little bundle of booth furnishings and were saying goodbye to their new friends at booth neighbors Avelead and Valcom.
Setting up and then abandoning a booth is like camping, where you start with an empty patch of woods, turn it into a festive home and have a great few days in it, but are then shocked afterward to see that when you take everything down, it was just a quiet, sad little spot all along. The space was transformed into something else by the people who temporarily inhabited it.
For that reason, we always leave the Smokin’ Doc standee in the booth for the staff to deal with after the exhibit hall closes for good. He can’t be reused, but we can’t bear to just stuff him into a convention center trashcan. We always just walk away, and in our minds, he stands guard forever over our now-forlorn booth space.
The ladies joked with Paul from Valcom that they wanted to get a final photo of the Smokin’ Doc at a slot machine if his folks could help carry him over. Paul said he would do them one better – they would take him out on the town and show him a good time with photos to prove it. Lorre said we didn’t expect them to haul a six-foot cardboard figure around, but Paul assured her that, “If we say we’ll do it, we will.”
What followed was a weekend of texted Smokin’ Doc photos from all over Las Vegas at all hours. We laughed every time our phones pinged.
Here’s a recap of how the Smokin’ Doc spent his post-HIMSS celebration weekend in Las Vegas, with the text messages that accompanied the photos.
[Just to allay any suspicions of a phony stunt — which is what I would automatically assume if I were reading this — the Valcom folks had never heard of HIStalk until the exhibit hall opened and I’m still not sure they know what we do, so they certainly weren’t looking for exposure. What they did was entirely on their own and we had no idea what was happening back in Las Vegas until the photos started arriving as we were heading home. We asked afterward if it was OK to give them a little plug.]
[Lorre responds that we’ve never named him and that they can choose a name that fits his personality].
[Robert Bell is a former Harlem Globetrotter and police officer who now devotes his time to anti-bullying]
[Contact Paula Burrier, executive casino host at The D Las Vegas.]
Paul made us laugh, so here’s a little plug for Valcom in return. Roanoke, VA-based Valcom sells communications solutions to schools, commercial, healthcare, and government that include mass communications, voice paging, outdoor emergency help-summoning call boxes, and an audible sound curtain that prevents hallway and exam room conversations from being overheard as a HIPAA violation. They offer an emergency lockdown system that secures buildings after a threat has been identified. Lorre asked Paul to describe an event he mentioned to her in the booth: “A little over a week ago, one of our higher education clients had to use our IP6000 and eLaunch system to lock down the entire school because of an active shooter. Once this lockdown occurs, it makes it hard for a wrongdoer to stay the course. No lives were lost that day and our system did what it was designed to do. I take pride in working for a company that saves lives when seconds count and is 100 percent American designed, manufactured, and supported.” Paul will offer a site inspection and consultation, including on site and web demos, to readers who contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.