Granted, the event has had its ups and downs over the years as it vied to establish its place in the annual local lineup, with stiff competition this year coming from events in surrounding communities, including a nearby county fair and the ever popular Saturday night pig races in neighboring Leader, Minnesota. Yes, I said pig races. (This is rural America and these things still exist.) Nevertheless, the music lineup appealed to a broad audience, and the people came. Unlike some other venues around the country, this was not a rock music or heavy metal event. The crowd was treated to a variety of music, everything from bluegrass and pop, to good old country. The food? Well that was burgers, brats, pulled pork sandwiches, fries, and homemade ice cream.
My quandary as a vendor was, “How will I access my documents and videos?” The fairgrounds where this venue was held did not have Wi-Fi, but it did have electricity. Bear in mind, I’m doing this all under a tent in the hot sun. Everything had to be streamlined and simple.
My solution was to use my smartphone’s tethering capabilities to access the Internet and the web pages I needed. Having SkyDrive meant I didn’t have to pull my documents onto the desktop of the laptop I was bringing prior to the event. Any changes I made (adding names and addresses to my database for example) were made to my primary files, which were all in one place, not scattered across several computers—or (shudder) left at home and inaccessible. Being able to access SkyDrive for my materials helped keep my event organized and professional. When I got back, everything was in order. I didn’t have to shuffle documents between laptops and desktops with a flash drive, I could relax. I’ve been using it for only 2-3 months, but it has become the go-to feature on all my devices.