Oct. 13 2009 10:36 AM

I cannot emphasize enough how thrilled we were with the outcome of this year's PARCEL Forum. With all that we are hearing in the news about travel budgets being cut and attendance at trade shows across the country being down, we drove down to Chicago with a bit of trepidation. We could not have known that we were in for such a great experience!

This year's forum was, without a doubt, the best forum ever. And that's not just us talking; we've heard that from a lot of people, both attendees and exhibitors. Yes, attendance was down slightly, but the quality of the attendees was phenomenal! It seems that businesses had this mindset of, "If we are going to spend the money to go to the forum, we want to send the really serious decision-makers; the people that will benefit most from being there." The sessions and speakers were fantastic, the exhibit hall was lively and packed (and it went wild when someone was the winner of the $5,000 grand prize!) , our keynote speakers were entertaining, and the receptions (WILDS and the USPS-sponsored reception) were amazing.

We received some fantastic follow-up to our sessions; the vast majority of them ranked 3.5 or higher (out of four). One speaker, Tom Stanton, even managed to receive a 4.2 out of 4--quite remarkable (although not so surprising, if you know Tom!) International shipping seemed to be one of the hot topics, and people flocked to those sessions. Attendees also really enjoyed the sessions on negotiating rates and just negotiating in general; many of them said they took away some valuable tips that will prove cost-effective in the long run! I wish I could list all of the sessions that got rave reviews, but seeing as how it was almost every single one that did, it would take me quite awhile!

How was your experience at the Forum? Be sure to tell us on LinkedIn; we love to hear from you. And, of course, we hope to see you next year at the PARCEL Forum, October 11-13, at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago.