Friday, March 7th, 2014 .

There you are, stuck with booth duty.  You were the last hire in the Marketing and Communications Department for your startup so you get stuck with booth duty for all three days of the trade show, for all eight hours the convention center is open.

Okay, that’s gonna suck, but on balance things are going pretty well with the company: they’ve got actual revenues, the CEO doesn’t come back to the office from board meetings with the investors looking like someone just ran over his cat, there’s a ping-pong table and free beers in the employee lounge area.  Best of all, you’ve paid rent on time six months in a row.

And then this guy shows up — the Swag Hog.  He’s got a couple of complimentary grocery size bags he snagged at other booths, and they are stuffed with knick knacks and branded office supplies from booths all around the convention center.   And he’s got a major haul going on in those bags.  Free stuff from all over the trade show: pens, note pads, key chains, USB flash drives, bottle openers, coffee mugs, cell phone covers, stress balls, breath mints, cheesy sunglasses, aluminum water bottles, Post-It Notes, and, of course, more shopping bags he can use to grab more stuff.  Some booths even give away popcorn because the smell draws people to their booth.

First of all, what is swag?  Originally, swag meant a bouquet of flowers, and then later came to mean the loot stolen by a thief or a burglar.  Then it came to mean the bundle of items hobos carried with them in Australia.  Then swag (and the bag that carried these items — the swag bag) became part of the lexicon of Hollywood to describe the bag of goodies that Oscar nominees received as part of the honor of being nominated.

And here’s what separate the Trade Show Swag Hog from the ordinary trade show attendee.

1. They have way too much free stuff in their bags. In fact, they have two or three bags full of free stuff.  And the free stuff they have is from EVERY SINGLE BOOTH at the show.  Seriously, dude?  You’ve visited every single booth and taken something free from them?  Try to be at least a little selective.

2. They have a lot of pens, notepads, and other office supplies. The bags of popcorn, the fancy brochures, the water bottles: only a few of those.  But actual office supplies: tons of them. My theory? These guys work for underfunded startups and the main reason they are at the trade show is not to develop sales leads or network with colleagues or showcase a new product.  No, the main reason these guys are here is to restock the office supply cabinet for free.

3. They make the fake return visit. The Swag Hog shows up at your booth, pretends to listen to your pitch, acts interested and says he’s going to get a colleague, and takes one of your free pens and a free Post-It-Note pad with your company name on it.  He moves onto the next booth and does the same to them, then looks back at your booth.  “Oh, you’re talking to another customer?”  Time for the fake return visit.  They swoop back and pretend to look at your display, then casually grab a handful of your free pens and take off.

Here’s my proposed solution: make the swag at your booth free flowers (the original definition.)  There you go, sir, you can say: “Take this home to your wife or girlfriend.  If you have one.”  They will leave and never come back.  And not to worry.  The Swag Hog wasn’t going to be a paying customer anyway.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013 .

We are happy to announce today the UberConference Google Apps Reseller Program. UberConference is a next generation audio conferencing service with a unique, visual interface. UberConference’s new channel partner program will be launching with Premier Enterprise Google Apps resellers SADA SystemsDitoSheepdogLTech andAgosto as its principal partners.

“Partnering with these world class resellers to drive end user adoption was an easy choice” said Craig Walker, CEO and co-founder of Firespotter Labs. “They have a unique combination of qualities – excellent reputations, a strong customer focus, leadership that demonstrates vision, and deep market penetration. Our launch resellers lead by example as the drivers of cloud-based services adoption and we are thrilled to be working with them.”

With its unique, visual interface, UberConference shows participants who’s on a call and who’s speaking at any given moment, and gives all participants access to every other participant’s Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook public social profiles. Features such as recording, dialing out to participants and earmuffs, which allow for sidebar conversations, as well as file sharing through Evernote, are easy-to-use. UberConference continues to introduce features that help businesses be more productive at significantly lower cost, and is investing resources in spreading the word through this reseller channel.

“At SADA Systems, we pride ourselves on bringing innovative cloud based solutions to our current and prospective customers,” said Tony Safoian, president and CEO of SADA Systems. “We are delighted to be partnering with UberConference as their offering fits our profile perfectly.”

Since its beta launch in May 2012, UberConference has significantly expanded its offerings, rolling out its premium service (UberConference Pro), and its enterprise product (UberConference Business), as well as mobile apps available for both iPhone and Android. With the launch of the reseller program, UberConference will increase its ability to engage enterprise customers and to deliver a much needed conference calling cloud solution for Google Apps customers.

Interested resellers should contact Dwight Foster atdwight@uberconference.com.

Monday, December 17th, 2012 .

Visual conference calls on your phone? There is an app for that. And it’s free!
imageWe are excited to announce the release of iPhone and Android apps for UberConference.   The new apps have the cool features that make UberConference great for conference calls, and are specifically designed for the mobile experience.  It’s simple to keep track of your calls, create instant conferences on the fly, and run conferences smoothly wherever you are, right from your phone.

Creating an instant conference from your phone has never been easier. With the UberConference mobile apps, it’s simple to add the people you already have in your contacts to get started.  UberConference will send out all the details, and there’s even the option to have the app dial out to all the participants automatically to join them into the call. No need to worry about anyone missing the message or forgetting the call.  This dial out feature is part of UberConference Pro, but it’s free with the mobile apps.

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There are a number of useful call control features at your fingertips when you need them on your conference call; even if you spend most of the time with the phone to your ear.

  • Mute or earmuff participants
  • Add people to the call
  • Turn call recording on and off.
  • If you have earphones or a headset it’s even easier see who’s talking at any moment and take more advantage of the integrated social features to learn more about the people in the call. Just click on the participant to see more from their connected Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google + profiles.

Radically improve the conference call experience from your mobile device. You’re going to love UberConference! Get the app now for your iPhone or Android phone.

Download the UberConference iPhone app

Download the UberConference Android app

Monday, March 3rd, 2014 .

unnamedLinda Beltran is UberConference’s very own Customer Support Representative. She is an asset to our entire company and her spunk and personality is legendary to our customers and team. Last week, Linda posted a video of her son (also a big personality) and it went viral.

 

Q: Please introduce yourself to the UberConference blogosphere.

 A. My name is Linda and I am the mother of 3-year-old Matthew and his little brother Kevin (aka PaPas).

Q: You posted a video last week that’s gone a little viral. Tell us about it.

A. Like all my other videos, I initially posted this one to share with friends and family. Well, they happened to share it, and the people they shared it with shared it, and so on.  I’ve always said Mateo is an old soul. The kid definitely keeps us on our toes, and this video depicts him, well, accurately.

If Mateo feels the need and has a valid argument, he will be sure to voice it. He felt he didn’t need to eat dinner since he already had lunch, and that cupcakes were a suitable compromise.

Q: Mateo wanted a cupcake? Throw down the scenario.

A. On this particular night, I went to Gramma’s house to pick him up. Gramma told me he didn’t want to eat his dinner. I let Matthew know that we would not be having a fun night unless he ate his dinner. He found some hidden cupcakes and was on a mission to have them. After a back-and-forth of “Mommy pleassseee can I have them?” and me telling him not until he had dinner, he decided to wait until I wasn’t paying attention to use those cute eyes of his on Gramma, which was not-so-secretly hilarious.

Mommy’s spidey-sense kicked in, I grabbed my phone and thought, “Let’s see where this goes.” Gramma and I had to keep a straight face. The end result was the video. He was unaware the camera was on as I was pretending to ignore him and be busy with the phone.

Q: Why does Mateo call you Linda?

A. This summer we went on a family trip to a theme park.  We came across a lost boy, who could not for the life of him tell us his name or parents’ names. We felt horrible, and as we handed him over to park staff we realized we’d never really told our boys what our names were–they only knew us as Mommy and Daddy. We didn’t want them to ever be in the same situation and not know our names, so we taught them, and they quickly learned. This made Mateo feel a little empowered.

For the most part we are still Mommy and Daddy,  but when he is serious and wants to make sure we are paying attention, we quickly become Linda and Kenneth.

 Q: When is Mateo going to visit the UberConference office?

A. Funny you mention that. Since the video has been out, we’ve been asked by numerous friends and family members if he can stop by their offices, as requested by co-workers who saw the video. They even offered to bake him cupcakes.

Let me check his busy schedule and I will get back to you on that!

Q: If  Mateo was going to be on a conference call, who would it be with?

A. If it were up to mom, Ellen DeGeneres. If we ask Mateo, he could have a pretty serious conversation with Batman, Spiderman AND Superman. Wait, I can’t forget Ironman and the guy with the ice that goes sswwooossshhh. That would be good.

Mateo is quite a tough cookie.

He is, but I want everyone to know that he isn’t disrespectful. In an effort to raise independent young adults, we let our children have a voice. I’m a new parent and I’m learning as much from my kids as they are learning from me. The arguing started way before Mateo could talk–he would let us know he didn’t like certain shoes or clothes with his baby blabber. I love seeing a little more of their personalities as they grow. Mateo has his own spunk and is becoming his own little person. I love that about him. The boys know when mom is serious and when they can engage in some healthy debate. In an effort to raise my kids with a voice, I pick my battles and sometimes let them feel like they’ve won…or at least give them the chance to try. 🙂