"Networking is not about just connecting people. It's about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities."
- Michele Jennae
Step CG hosted a technology tailgate on December 5th, at Soldier Field in Chicago and it was one for the record books. Connecting people with company culture has always been powerful and it was on display at the tailgate. I’m going to give a brief overview of the tailgate, but I want to dive into the power of our tailgating from our perspective at STEP CG, our partner’s perspectives and our client’s perspectives.
Upon arrival to the tailgate, we had set up our trailer with a 75 inch tv on the side of it, chips, drinks and places to stay warm. Looking around everyone was laughing and having a good time and the weather was great for a Chicago day in the beginning of December. Once everyone was there for a while we unleashed the 78 pounds of national award winning barbecue made by Pat Scott. As we were all going back for seconds and thirds on the barbeque, our sponsors introduced themselves, Taoglas, Cradlepoint and Extreme Networks. Matt Kilianski, from Extreme Networks, presented a captivating demo of Extreme’s NFL stadium dashboard analytics. Extreme is known for being the official in-Stadium Wifi provider of the NFL Super Bowl and proved their worth last Super Bowl as there were 30,605 people on the internet at once and 48,845 on the internet throughout the game. But how did we get wifi at our tailgate, outside the stadium, is the real question. STEP CG’s technology tailgates are always supported by another best of breed technology partner, Cradlepoint. Our Cradlepoint 1700 paired with our Taoglas Antenna running the whole tailgate meant things were running as smooth as possible. With national award winning barbecue, easy connectivity and business cards flying left and right, our tailgate offered a cool way to network, learn, and relax.
The potential for us and partners to solidify and create new relationships was something that I didn’t expect. There were people in attendance that had no prior relationship with us that are now talking about STEP CG, Extreme Networks, Cradlepoint and Taoglas. The brand awareness and recognition that this event brought about was tremendous. The culture of STEP CG offers this tailgating experience another advantage as everyone can enjoy themselves and not feel the need to look or act a certain way. The brand awareness and recognition factor is the reason for this tailgate in Chicago, but there was so much more that came out of it. Something that makes more sense after the tailgate is that our culture is constantly growing and adapting.
Our technology tailgates allow everyone to see who we are and what we are about. Our relationships with our partners are the best in the industry of the highest importance to us. This is evident with our numerous Partner of the Year awards and highest ranking partnerships. One value we try to portray in our tailgates is our desire to share knowledge. We want to exchange knowledge and train as our current customers and potential customers so we add technical workshops to some of our tailgates as well. This is just a beginning for what it will become.
From a customer standpoint establishing faces, names and relationships with STEP CG is in an important piece in doing business. They no longer have to shop from a store front and are valued as a partner with STEP CG. That ability for a customer to feel like they are a partner of STEP CG is of the utmost importance to us and our technology tailgates allow this to happen.
Something we are constantly doing on our marketing team is figuring out how to bridge gaps and I believe this is an incredible way to do such a thing.
The value of our tailgate experiences is only increasing and it is shown in the responses we have been getting back from attendees. Here are just a couple of notes from customers and partners:
“Wanted to thank you so much for the awesome Bears experience last night! We all had such a blast with my father in law Dirk at the tailgate and the game. That was my first ever tailgate experience and you set an extremely high bar that may never be topped!”
“Great time last night. Thanks for organizing everything. We are very proud partners of STEP CG.”
At the end of the day, the tailgating experience in Chicago was topped with a cherry when the Bears came out with a win over the Cowboys. It was a great night that left an exciting future for our newly established relationships.