We have been members of the Metro Orlando EDC for many years so we have been invited to their annual bar-b-que for just as long. For the first few years, when we were in our previous location, the bar-b-que was kind of one of those “do we really have to go” things. Not because we didn’t like it but because we worked south of the city and the thought of driving in rush hour traffic to get downtown wasn’t something we were excited to do. Fastforward to 2008. In the Fall of 2008 when the bar-b-que occured, we knew we were moving from our old location and we were pretty sure we were moving downtown but it wasn’t public knowledge yet. So Shirley, David and I stood around at the bar-b-que and kept saying “I wish we could tell people”. At the same time, because we weren’t in the downtown area too much we really didn’t know that many people there. Then last year we had been in our new home for about 6 months and had already met a lot of great people in the area so we knew more prople attending. At the same time, getting from our building to the bar-b-que now took 5 minutes, maybe 8 depending on the lights on Orange Ave. It was amazing what a difference it was from previous years. Instead of walking around and awkwardly inserting ourselves into people’s conversations like you do at those functions people were coming up to us saying “IDEAS, I read about you guys moving”.
Then there was this year’s bar-b-que. Now we’ve been downtown for about 18 months. We’ve been involved in a lot more things in the area and have had the pleasure of getting to know so many new people. The folks at the EDC made the AWESOME decision to not have a band this year so we set up shop right in the middle of Central Blvd., coincidentally right next to one of the dessert stations (see below). From the time we got there until the time we left, I don’t think we sat down, it was one great conversation after another. We talked to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer (name drop), then City Commissioner Ings (name drop), then someone else, and then someone else, not to mention our friends from the EDC. Besides taking a few breaks to inhale some of the great food and enjoy a beverage or two, we got to talk to so many people. At the end of the night I thought about how many of those conversations would have happened if we hadn’t moved downtown. Maybe 2 or 3 of them. If we’ve said it once we’ve said it a million times, moving downtown was the best thing we ever did. There are great people and great companies in this area and we’re glad to be along side all of them.