Cary Sherburne: Hi. I’m Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Chris Petro who is President and CEO of GlobalSoft Digital Solutions. How are you?
Chris Petro: Well, good. How are you, Cary? Good to see you.
Cary Sherburne: Good. You know, we’re here today at DScoop7 and wow, what a success story, huh?
Chris Petro: It’s amazing. Every year at DScoop I continually get amazed, and this year is no exception, it really is.
Cary Sherburne: And the big difference this year is now you have a Global Board of Directors.
Chris Petro: Yeah. So I felt a little bit like Al Pacino. I was sucked back into it. But it’s exciting and, you know, inherently the Global Board adds value, I think, to everyone here in North America. So that’s really where my interest is.
Cary Sherburne: And so what are your expectations, you know, or what are the responsibilities and duties of the Global Board then?
Chris Petro: Yeah. So the Global Board, we have some pretty significant tasks, you know. The first is, of course, we have to protect the brand and make sure that the message and the spirit of DScoop is conveyed to all the groups across the country, yet we still want them to have—across the world—we still want them to have the autonomy of growing and building for their regional bases. So the biggest challenges for us are really three-fold.
First, we have to make sure that the brand is intact, and the message is concise, and that we share. The second is to add value for our membership around the world, not only here in North America but in Japan and wherever they happen to be. So the message has to be, you know, what can we do to add value to them, and the thought concept is bring them all together and get more value all-for-one. The third is to leverage our relationship with Hewlett Packard, and to leverage our relationship and get some synergy out of our partnerships so they too can have more value as their business expands. So it’s truly a win-win for everyone. It’s just a pretty massive undertaking, as you can imagine.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah. And so you’ve already had, I guess last August in Singapore, you had the Asia Pacific meeting?
Chris Petro: Yes.
Cary Sherburne: How many people came to that do you know?
Chris Petro: We were over, I think, about 1200, 1300.
Cary Sherburne: Oh, that’s big, that’s great, yeah.
Chris Petro: And that’s an inaugural event which just blew me away. And, of course, now we have EMEA scheduled and they are full-throttle and moving forward.
Cary Sherburne: And that’s at Barcelona in November?
Chris Petro: There’s worst places to be.
Cary Sherburne: There’s worst places to be, absolutely.
Chris Petro: Barcelona in November is just beautiful. And really, our charter as the Global Board is to give them some insight to some of the challenges we had early in the DScoop world, building membership, building, you know, getting some black ink on the pages, making sure that the membership has a value-packed agenda. And it’s really, it’s so good to see these guys come together and us working almost as a big brother to try and help them.
Cary Sherburne: So I personally lived in Latin America, so what about Latin America?
Chris Petro: So Latin America is the next frontier for us, so we have a lot of different options. Of course, the spacing in Latin America is huge. It’s kind of like EP&J, but it’s so many different cultures and they’re screaming for it. They’re a little softer paced and not as, you know, far advanced as say the Europeans are, or certainly as EP&J. So we’re working with them to kind of do I guess like a babysitting kind of organization until we can help them get off the ground. We have a big, as you know, here at our Latin American exposure to our conferences. But that’s the next great frontier for us.
Cary Sherburne: That’ll be great. It’s exciting. And, you know, bless your heart for all the volunteer work that’s going into this, because I’m sure they’re not paying you to do it.
Chris Petro: No, they’re not. And, you know, we do have a French operation so EMEA is kind of close to my heart. And I’ve been pushing for EMEA all along, I think that’s how they got me to do it.
Cary Sherburne: That’s good, that’s great. Well, thanks.
Chris Petro: You’re welcome. Thank you.