For those of you who missed my blog post, oDesk asked me and fellow oDesk provider Erin to represent them at the Boston Great American Job Fair and talk to prospective providers about opportunities in online work. Here’s a little about how it went…
I am a typically early riser (around 5:30 – 6:00) but even for me, 3am was very early to get up. We arrived at the Sheraton in Boston at 4:45am. Now for a visual here, this hotel is one of the premier hotels in the area, and of course my first thought was where do I get coffee, but I decided to set up the oDesk table first and then head for coffee. So off I went up the escalator and I was met with 12 security guards (go figure) and at least thirty people standing in line, resumes in hand, as well as the GMA staff setting up a table for people to sign in. I entered the grand ballroom, and there were tables set up side by side 6 across and 6 deep for displayers.
At about 5am my fellow oDesker joined me (I recognized her by the oDesk shirt she was wearing) and we decided we should wander downstairs for coffee. Starbucks (disclaimer: I never drink Starbucks coffee) was still closed but we were assured they were going to open ‘early’ at 5:30. I hate to tell you – when I’ve been up since 3am, 5:30 is NOT early! At 5:30 we headed back downstairs. $8.25 for a cup of cofee, a muffin and a tin of gum. Oh well, such is life!
So finally at 6am Tory Johnson announced that they were just about ready to begin filming and told us to not ‘fawn’ for the cameras but please don’t avoid them (oh please, can’t we just avoid them?). At any rate, the doors open and the crowd began filtering in. Let me tell you, people looking for work all have common ground, and the lack of noise in there was astounding considering how many people were in the room! In fact I don’t think it hit me for a couple of days just how quiet it was given the number of people in the room.
Our first ‘interested’ person came to the oDesk table at about 6:15 and from then until 10:00 we spent our time talking to people about oDesk, the opportunities available and about how we had found success here. Chances are that some of the people are never going to even visit oDesk website (like the construction person who has never used a computer – I thought he was a little young for no computer use, but what do I know), and the person who typically worked on Government Contracts and was accustomed to making $125,000 a year.
After about the first 30 people passed through I think we were asking them before they did “What’s oDesk?” since that was everyone’s first question! All in all the GMA Job Fair was fun and we enjoyed spreading the word about oDesk in Boston! If I had to estimate I’d say that no less than 500 people passed through the Job Fair and I’d estimate that probably 150 stopped and talked to us!
Doreen Martel is a freelance writer on oDesk. She is a longtime advocate for freelancers, and offers advice via her blog, Freelancing and More. If you are interested in writing a guest blog post, email firstname.lastname@example.org