back into the subculture, showing the "C" card


Leaving soon for an all or nothing style marketing, ditch effort to put avisualplanet back on the radar for potentially new subscribers (Outreach Conference in San Diego) Bryan and I have been poking at all the last minute things that need to be done for such an event. Just like any other business trade show, there are all sorts of media-ish things that need to produce, one of which is the booth design. This presented a few challenges as I really wanted everything to be as portable as possible. So (being a media resource company) we needed a small projector and a screen that could go on the plane. We also ordered large banner signage that compact into a carry-on. Of course a person can get a really spiffy full-blown trade show booth set up at the conference site if you are bathing in moula...

we are not.

So, as always we get creative in the approach.

Like finding that a hard case designed for transporting golf clubs would work to carry our projector screen and banners.

And finding the office depot iron on transfers that you run through your ink-jet make really spifffy t-shirts (these are give aways at the show).

But things came to a halt when we decided to take an imac along to show off our website remotely.

How do you pack that?

And throw into the mix that we are jumping onto a boat after the show (with all of our stuff in tow).

I have gotten very intimate with airline luggage requirements.

So last night we run out to costco (don't laugh) because of some inexpensive luggage that we remember seeing there and think that it will do the trick for the imac and our cruise clothes, 30 show-tshirts, etc...

Except when we get there the luggage seems a little flimsy... could work but maybe we will find something better (really quick). So we head toward the mall to find a luggage store and find some great hard cases that might has well have been a million dollars.

But looking over this luggage with the clock ticking (things are about to close) we are approached by a short, cheerful salesman that starts trying to be helpful.

key word...trying.

Because he wants to fulfill what ever need we have he starts drilling down to what we are using this for.

Because, as usual we are not being conventional, this could be a long conversation, in order to hopefully shut down the conversation when the guy (and his name was Guy which made me laugh later) asked what conference this was, Bryan answered...

It is a church conference.

Typically this can be a conversation stopper, but depending on where a person is at with "church" you can have the reverse response.

which we did.

Of course it may have helped if we would have noticed that the "guy" was wearing a "Bless the Lord" neck tie.

You can imagine what happened next.

It seems when you show your "C" card (and I am not referering to the scuba kind, but I do have one of those as well) that people make lots of assumptions about what flavor of "C" you are. And in this particular instance the salesperson's concern to fulfill our luggage needs morphed into telling us his life story along with the recent close call with an anuerism that he was miraculously cured from- doctors couldn't explain it-praise jesus.


Recognizing that we were not getting luggage tonight (unless god intervened with a miracle;-) I sort of settled into the old "pastor's wife mode". Listening intently to this dear man's faith language trying very hard not to be put off by some of the tell-tale signs of us-vrs them, saved vrs-lost speak. But finding myself putting on the gloves of what his flavor was and dusting off the christianese in order to communicate with this man based on his needs. I think I have developed a sensor that detects when someone is searching for you to "use the right words" in order to size you up.

It is kinda like parachuting into a remote village and trying to remember the five native words you know to prove you are friendly before they cut your head off.

And what I have found in our journey outside the church is that the subcultures of "C" can be a bit of a hoot.

You have your weekenders. These are the people who feel that stepping into a church on sunday is "just the right thing to do" and this pretty much takes care of the rest of the week. Their speech is very general and probably has a very low quotient of "jesus" sprinkled in. They throw up the occasional prayer and life motors on.

The other end of the spectrum are the people that tend to apply a hightened, almost melodramatic approach. They tend to see the face of jesus floating in their morning cheerios. Their christianese is a finely tuned dialect that is recognized mostly by their own kind (think appalachian twang vrs bostontonian). The "jesus" quotient is very high with these folk and as much as they think that more is better in order to get their message across they really just need you to sound like them in order for them to feel secure in their mission and in your salvation. They tend to illicit a gag reflex from anyone outside their circle. Even other "C"s.

miraculously, both have a "C" card.

In a similar way you might have two people who love mountain climbing. One may get the chance to climb during his vacation and rents his gear while the other has a climbing wall on his back porch and owns all the latest in climbing toys...

but both are climbers and love to climb.

And sort of like with climbing, "C" has every flavor and intensity in between.

So after telling all about the survival of his premature daughter, "Guy" finally realized that the mall was soon to close and actually tried to help our situation by phoning another store that was open even later. I found myself saying all the right words finishing off with a sincere "God Bless You", before running out the door.

Bryan and I walked out reminded that in just a few days we will be surrounded by those like "Guy" who speak a certain dialect that we once knew so well. We may not use the same lingo any more but we still carry the "C" card. Fortunately Jesus trandscends all of the flavors of "C". If only we could all recognize that and not just be poised to hear our own language spoken, dismissing those that don't sound the same...

Time to dust off the phrase book.





Have a great time and just sell them with your great ability to listen and understand the needs of all those "C" card carriers. You have great way of sharing and I think will sell itself.

As for marketing, sell some of those beautiful t-shirts to your friends here at home - we'll market all over the place for you!

yeah, I totally need a t-shirt. I'll give you a t-shirt blank when you get back.
Have a GREAT trip.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Blair published on November 5, 2007 7:36 AM.

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