Hi everyone. I'm PrestaRocket. Last Friday, my family and I hopped on a plane in Miami and flew 1,723 miles to Denver in order to participate in The 2012 Shop.org Annual Summit. You see, the Summit is boasted as digital retail's most influential annual event, and considering that PrestaShop provides the world's most effective open-source e-commerce solution, it was kind of a no-brainer for us to participate.
(What a good looking group we are)
Before leaving, I asked the team if I could grab a window seat on the plane. I told them that while I may be Rocket, I had never been on a plane before (they all laughed) and having a window seat would mean a lot.
Ben, PrestaShop's new Community Manager, decided to ignore my request. On top of that, he said I had to go into his carry on and spend the next five hours in the pitch-black cargo bin above his head. Needless to say, I wasn't very pleased with Ben at this point, but he's bigger than I am so there was nothing I could do.
After spending what seemed to be an eternity inside Ben's man purse (I mean backpack), we finally arrived in the Mile High City. The first thing I wanted to do was grab a beer... but no. Everyone else was eager to get the preparations for the Annual Summit started, so I was told there was no time for booze.
Much to my chagrin, when all I could think about was relaxing with an ice-cold pilsner, we spent the next few hours driving boxes over to the Denver Convention Center before calling it a day.
The next morning, I woke up extremely excited because we were hosting a big brunch meetup at Panzano Restaurant in downtown Denver. Before coming on this trip, I read so many good things about the place, and I finally thought to myself that today would be the day I get to indulge in some good eats, toss back a few cocktails and truly unwind.
When we arrived for brunch, we were surrounded by so many new faces, which was cool because after traveling with the same people for a few days, it's always nice to change it up a bit (you know how it is).
Ben, who I was still very upset with at this point, was forced to sit next to me during brunch. I didn't know what they were thinking. "Proximity doesn't fix anything," I told them, but no one was listening.
At first, Ben was being so nice to me that I genuinely thought about forgiving him. But then… something happened (see picture below).
(Doesn't that look delicious?)
That's me on the table, and that gorgeous plate of food behind me, that's Ben's brunch. For 45 minutes I had to sit there and watch him devour that delicious looking dish while I, PrestaRocket, got nothing. Not even a morsel!
Here we were having a great time with our new friends talking about all things e-commerce, and then my best buddy Ben (note the sarcasm) let me just sit on the table and watch him eat. Not once did he lean over and say, "Hey PrestaRocket, I'm sorry about what happened on the flight up. Would you like a bite of my delicious omelette, or maybe you'd like a Mimosa?" If he would have said either of those things, I would have forgiven him for locking me away on the plane. Instead, I left brunch feeling so disappointed and angry, I thought this trip was never gonna get better for me.
Shortly after we left the restaurant, I was able to calm myself down before asking my good friend Sabrina, PrestaShop's Marketing Director, to take me away from Ben until I could devise some sort of payback scheme.
Sabrina, being as cool as she is, agreed to take me out and promised we'd do something fun. I wasn't sure what was in store for us for the rest of the day, and I really didn’t care. I was just happy to get away from Ben.
After spending the afternoon with Sabrina, which was awesome by the way, it was time for me to get some sleep. I went up to my hotel room, raided the mini-fridge and passed out.
When Sunday morning rolled around, I wanted to lay in bed until noon before heading down to the hotel bar to watch the Buffalo Bills play the New York Jets. When I shared those desires with my PrestaShop family, they said there was no time for football today because we had to finish our preparations for the Annual Summit.
Against my wishes, we headed back to the Denver Convention Center and got to work. At first I was cranky about missing the Bills game, but as our preparations started to progress, I began seeing our booth take form and missing the game didn't seem to bother me much anymore.
Roughly eight hours into setup, we were just about finished and I couldn't have been happier with the results.
No one told me before coming to Denver that our entire backdrop for the Summit featured an outer space theme! Because of this, seeing our booth complete made me feel home again, and for the briefest of moments, I didn't seem to hate my old buddy Ben anymore.
As things were winding down Sunday night, I was feeling great about the day's work and ready to grab a cold one.
Just as I was about to leave the Convention Center and head to a local bar to watch the Denver Broncos game, Ben came over and asked If I wanted to pose for a couple of pictures. At first, I was a little weirded out by the request, but I said if he could promise to make me look great in front of the camera then I'd do it.
With each click of the lens, I felt like a movie star strutting my stuff on the Red Carpet. Sometime during the shoot, I came to realize that no matter what happened to me, nothing in this world could be better than being a superfly PrestaRocket posing for the camera!
(I'm the most handsome Rocket... ever)
After I was done looking fantastic, Ben apologized for being so mean. He said I did a great job during the shoot and would love it if we could hang for a few. I was reluctant to agree, but then he invited me up to his room to watch late-night reruns of The Wonder Years, and I love The Wonder Years! Furthermore, he made me look so handsome in the pictures, I felt an awkward sense of necessity to accept his invitation.
Like two little boys, we spent most of the night goofing off even though we both knew we had to be up early for the first day of The Summit.
When we couldn't stay awake any longer, Ben kindly tucked me into a little makeshift bed on his windowsill, which I thought was a nice touch. We woke up a few hours later and I was really tired, but my relationship with Ben was in a better place so it least that was good.
After a quick shower, it was time to put our game faces on. This was going to be the start of a really big week for me and the PrestaShop team.
Not only do we have an amazing booth (No. 659) at the Annual Summit to showcase our incredible e-commerce software, we also have a HUGE announcement to make later on this week! As much as I would like to, I can't tell you more right now. All I can really say at this point is... stay tuned.
OK. Thanks for reading about my Colorado adventures so far. It's time for me to go to work.
I will check back in with you all a little later to let you know how our first day went. In the meantime, I'll see what kind of trouble I can get into by creating some unique photo opportunities for myself throughout the day. Not sure what I'll come up with it, but I promise it'll be fun.
(This was the reaction I got when I asked to go for beers)