Simply a Great Idea for an Industry Event

Several years ago, I was in San Diego for the 2008 Dscoop Annual Conference. As many of them do, this event rolled into a weekend and culminated in some sort of awards dinner on Saturday night. I was hired to give one or two breakout session speeches and I remember bringing my daughter, Emma, with me as it was her turn on the “take a daughter with me” list. Or maybe she just whined the loudest.

Anywho…something happened on that trip that had never happened before and has never happen since. It was simply a great idea, and one that I hope the powers that be within our industry take note of, embrace, and repeat.

Several months ahead of the conference, I received a letter. MindFireInc (an exhibitor at the show), along with HP, asked those who were able to stay on an extra day in order to go down to Tecaté, Mexico, and build a house for a needy family. I remember holding the letter in my hand, completely in awe of the brilliance of this simple philanthropic concept.

Why hadn’t anyone done this before?

And more importantly, why hasn’t anyone done this since?

The Saturday-night awards party raged into the wee hours, making what seemed like a good idea at the time a bit more difficult to pull off. Still, two or three van loads of attendees met in the lobby at the crack of dawn and made our way to the worksite.

We spent the rest of the day painting, nailing and laughing as the family whose house we were expanding work right beside us. The countryside was as striking as the poverty we witnessed, and both are blazoned into my memory.

I am of the belief that most people will help if they are asked. Naturally, not everyone has the time and money to stay an extra day. But this idea is one that bears repeating.

Bill Farquharson is the president of Aspire For. He can be reached at 781-934-7036 or

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
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  • Mary Beth Smith

    Wonderful – would give this idea two thumbs up if PIWorld would let me. Marvelous!!

  • Kevin Keane

    Fantastic story/saga Bill. I have a friend, a recovering printer in Rhode Island who has built many a Habitat home since his days of ink and paper (or wine and roses). I think I need to reach out to him with your challenge, thank you for some human inspiration, You da man! Hope Anchor Steam hadn’t made your noggin too sore that bright day :)