Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lack of transparency and full disclosure - why I didn't tell most of you that I was at the #apmp conference in Chicago

By the time that you read this post, I will have left the APMP Bid & Proposal Con in Chicago, Illinois.

Most of you didn't even know that I was at the APMP Bid & Proposal Con in Chicago, Illinois, because I neglected to share this fact. I'll explain why in a minute.

However, I should admit that there were a few online contacts who DID know that I was out of town. If you were not one of these don't feel insulted, because I had specific reasons for letting these people know that I was out of town.

There were certain Facebook friends who were receiving regular updates during my stay. The people in this Facebook list were either (a) immediate family members, or (b) departmental co-workers. Why did I share this information with them? Because these people already knew that I was out of town. My family presumably noticed that I wasn't coming home at night, and my co-workers presumably noticed that I wasn't coming in to work every day. (Let's hope they did.)

In addition, there were a few other people who heard of my travels. When I changed planes in Phoenix on Sunday, I let a couple of people (one was my cousin, and the other was @Tad Donaghe) that I was at the Phoenix airport. Both my cousin and Tad are former Phoenix residents. Ironically, my cousin was visiting people in Phoenix that very weekend, but since I was only in Phoenix for an hour we obviously couldn't get together.

Oh, and I also let @Jesse Stay know that I was in Chicago. A few weeks ago, he happened to stay at the very hotel where my conference was being held. For the record, both of us liked the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers.

But most of you didn't know that I was in Chicago, and I wasn't posting a lot about what was going on at Bid & Proposal Con. (Trust me, those posts are coming.)

Why not? I'm sure that the APMP would have loved it if I had been writing about the conference while the conference was still in session. And there certainly would have been benefits from the immediacy of such posts.

However, I applied a rule that I have often applied (with one notable exception) - unlike others, I generally do not post about trips while I am still traveling.

There are several reasons for this, but I'll highlight one of them. Perhaps you've heard of a service called TripIt, which lets people know of your travel plans. TripIt can potentially let everyone know of your travel plans - including your business competitors. Several years ago, I had written a proposal for a particular U.S. client, and the oral presentations were coming up. I was not attending the oral presentations, but I certainly wanted to know which of our competitors would be attending. Luckily for me, a senior executive with one of our competitors was using TripIt at the time, so I knew exactly where he would be - or would not be - during the oral presentations.

So for similar reasons, I didn't necessarily want to let my competitors know that I was out of the office, because they would be able to ascertain that if I was in Chicago and not in California, I probably wouldn't be doing [REDACTED] during that time.

If you've been reading my blogs for several years, you probably realize what the "one notable exception" is. Back when I regularly attended Oracle OpenWorld, I would constantly write blog posts during the conference itself. For the most part, that's been my big exception to the "no blogging about travel while traveling" rule. For example, I went on a cross-country trip in 2009, and didn't breathe a word about it until I came back.

So much for transparency and full disclosure, but in the next few days, you'll hear more about APMP Bid & Proposal Con than you ever wanted to hear.
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