EnergizeIT is in “extended” mode this week with sessions taking place outside of “the usual suspect” cities we normally visit. Time and resources unfortunately constrain where we go and who we connect with – but this time we managed to top off at 21 cities across Canada.
Team east visited Shawinigan yesterday in order to talk with students at CEGEP de Shawinigan about how to succeed in their career in the ICT industry. It was my first time in the hometown of our EX-Prime minister Jean Chrétien. We didn’t have time to visit the Hydro-electric damn a.k.a. cité de l’énergie because I really needed to drop off my taxes at the central Taxation office.
After wrapping up the student presentation – we head out to start our trip down the road to Trois-Rivières. But before leaving – we grab a snack at a local chip shop.
Francine knows how to make a mean poutine! The cheese curds with plentiful, large and squeaky when you bit down on them. She was even nice enough to offer to swap out my Pepsi request for a coke (what I really wanted) by walking next door to get one from the bar. Quebec is mostly a Pepsi province and it’s a hard thing to find a coke when you need one.
We arrived a wee bit early, so we stopped off in town to get a coffee from Tim and a chance to plug in as I had a livemeeting with Corp on a new program that was launching.
Funny thing was as we were walking into Tims – we were speaking english to each other before getting into line. The cab driver in front of us leaned over the counter to the server and said (in french) “the guys behind me are english – let me know if you need help translating their order”. As we started to place our order (FYI: Double Double is translated as Doube Doube) – all was resolved with my Acadian accent and Christian’s Montreal accent.
Were were a bit concerned when we arrived at the venue to put on our first event in Trois-Rivières since the registration numbers were a bit low. Combine that with a later start time that was 30 minutes BEFORE the Habs 4th playoff game against the Capitals – it wasn’t stacking up well for record attendance. As start time approached – we were pleasantly surprised with less then 20% drop off! Great room and lots of interaction from the folks that came out. We wrapped up the event and made it to a local pub with 15 minutes of the 3rd period still to complete.
Now it’s the return trip about to commence. I snuck out on the balcony to snap a photo of the panorama of three rivers joining together for one last memory.
Great hospitality. Very friendly people that were genuinely happy that we were there to connect with them. Based on their enthusiasm – we’ll be back again!