We’re out West this week, in lovely San Ramon, CA. An opportunity to do some exciting work is all it takes to get us on an airplane to almost anywhere, so here we are.
Although I live on the East Coast, I’ll confess to loving California. It’s the people. Most have laughter in their voices, as if they know something cool the rest of us have yet to grasp. I find most very straightforward in their business relationships – it will work, or it won’t – and no punches are pulled. And there is an openness to new ideas out here that’s always refreshing.
I wish the same could be said for the availability of wireless access out here. If you want to check your email, most drop-in locations (Starbucks, Borders, etc.) expect you to log on to a paid service. A day’s charges for what might be 15 minutes worth of service – I don’t think so.
You’d think that merchants might see that there can be a real reciprocal benefit to providing access at their stores and shops. Out East, we are real fans of places that let us pop open our laptops and get connected. Panera, our local Charlestown coffee spot Sorrelle’s, and a host of others have clearly gotten the message. I’ll gladly come back to their shops again and again, spending way more than it costs them to provide me with a few moments of connectivity.
And while we are at it, let’s give a hand to those places that give good workarounds. Although Marriott has a charge for in-room internet service, they’ve let me have access to their Business Center, and free Internet connectivity. And some people wonder why I continue to see Marriott as my hotel of choice . . . all the way up and down the chain.
There’s a lesson here. Want to up conversion? Give something away.