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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Babb, CVPM, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, RVT

To Booth or Not to Booth?

I closed my eyes and listened to my heart.  The decision to exhibit at AVMA was an exciting but difficult one for me…


I had sworn off doing any more conferences this year.  A hectic spring travel schedule is in full swing, peppered with multiple live webinars and in-person teambuilding workshops, and the summer is already jam packed.      


Did Starpath have the resources and time to dedicate to this event? 

I gathered the heads of departments – operations (me), marketing (me), event coordinator (me), finance (me), and client service specialist (also me) – to take a hard look at resources and assess possibilities.  A lengthy meeting of the minds yielded passionate debate over pros and cons of running a booth (talking to myself became the norm long ago, but lately has been starting to feel like some sort of split personality disorder). 


Seriously, being a small business owner means juggling a lot of different roles and trying to maintain some semblance of sanity in the process (not unlike being a practice manager, but as a business owner the responsibility feels heavier to me).


Every decision has to be carefully weighed, and every action must reflect and stay true to Starpath’s purpose. 

While I love the autonomy, it can be a lonely road.  I’m grateful that I have some really awesome support people in my life, and I lean on them heavily for input and guidance.  But this decision, like all the other business decisions I make, really comes down to me and what I think is best for Starpath.  It’s tough to know sometimes what the “right decision” is, and I’ve learned to trust in my intuition as well as my ability to make the next good decision.    


It is absolutely critical that I keep the personal touch with the people and clients that I support. 

There were a lot of reasons not to go to this conference.  After all, I’ve made a significant shift in my business model in the last few months, increasing options to better serve individuals, and I’ve added some new clients that I need to be there for.  I’ve also got some major projects in the works. 


I am seeking greater balance both at work and at home.  Do I truly have the capacity to take on another conference?  Am I ready for the planning, organizing, designing, ordering, transporting, traveling, the blood, sweat and tears that get poured into these events? 


And yet, the chance to connect with my vet med tribe is magnetic.  This event is only an hour from home (provided Austin traffic is decent), and the dates just happen to line up around my other commitments this summer.  I have exciting, new tools and services to offer that can make a positive impact in people’s daily lives.  And I’ve got this crazy idea for a meaningful giveaway, and I’ll kick myself if I don’t try it.


The opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives is a strong pull. 

How can I resist?  In the end, this is a decision that came from the heart.

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