If you haven’t had to sit through one of them yourself, you probably know someone who has. It’s those two-day events that every sales person dreads:
The sales meeting.

It’s usually two days holed-up in a large hotel ballroom or conference room, viewing – and maybe, hopefully – absorbing Powerpoint presentation after Powerpoint presentation. Maybe they’re interspersed by a decent meal or an evening event. If you’re lucky.

But that’s not the way it worked last week for Bosch Security Systems Inc., Fairport, N.Y. No, this event was nothing like a Powerpoint parade.

Held Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the luxurious Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort in Henderson, Nev., Bosch held a special orientation event for its newly combined sales force. As SDM reported in the January issue (p.22), Bosch realigned its sales, marketing and customer service and support organizations at the first of the year, integrating its Security Systems and Communications Systems divisions in the Americas.

The aim of the event was to orient the combining sales teams about the other group’s product line, the goal being everyone working to sell a fully integrated line of security and communications products. The approach the company took was unique, and it made for an educational, engaging and entertaining session.

Rather than having product managers dredge through product specifications, capabilities and other minutiae, Bosch took a trade show approach. And, borrowing from the carnival theme it implemented at a couple of past events, it put on quite a show. Each product group, from intelligent video analysis to fire panels; from megapixel cameras to passive infrared motion detectors; and from access control to speakers, headsets and public address systems, put on interactive activities that demonstrated the product features and gave everyone an opportunity for hands-on experience.

The afternoon wrapped with a great demonstration of the communications side’s ElectroVoice microphone, amplifier and speaker systems. If you ever watched Johnny Carson on NBC’s "Tonight Show," or by chance will be catching the upcoming AC/DC concert tour, you’ll know what kind of audio was on display. By the end of the demonstration, half of the attendees were lining the back of the ballroom to preserve their hearing.

But Pink Floyd has never sounded so clear.