Trials and Tribulations of a Digital Nomad and #eventprof

This is the first of an on-going series exploring the triumphs and major set-backs of my life as a digital nomad. My name is Daniel and I am the Director of Digital Innovations at PlannerWire. #Welcome

While I do in fact have an “office” and what many of you would consider a typical 9-5… In reality, it’s not that simple.

Just this evening I decided upon a jaunt to the ever non-local Starbucks. While always open and available at multiple locations within a 3-mile radius of home, it just never fails to live up to the expectations. What do you think when you think of Starbucks? Living in an urban-environment, I think of vibrant and unique locations to its neighborhoods and consistently average drinks. Maybe its the fact I always know what to expect from my drink that keeps me going back or lack of other options where I most frequently travel…. But here are the two drawbacks… BIG ONES!

The Music

While a coffee shop would not be what it is without its unique blend of music, Starbucks takes it to the next level and doesn’t allow you to “enjoy” the music but rather they make you work to tune it out. In times of deep concentration, that I *rarely* am in, I don’t want to have to dig and dig and DIG through my over packed messenger bag for those pesky ear buds that I most likely left at work or even the laundry… Yes, it’s happened. Trial 1…

The Internet

As my title suggests and you’ll come to note, I do EVERYTHING and I mean everything electronically. It is in rare form for me to be caught without a laptop and a tablet. More often than not, I may have multiples. You may ask why four devices when I could simply use one screen AND you would have a valid point. My response, “table that for a later date, because I will not give up my secrets that easily.”

Regardless of how many gizmos… In this day in age and with Starbucks being a central hub for entrepreneurs, freelancers and those digitally nomadic eventprofs like myself, let’s just face the fact that we need WiFi everywhere… AND FAST! Tonight I’m attempting to work on a client’s event registration site which requires some larger than life files.

On a typical day I’d have these files beamed up in 5-10 minutes… But not at Starbucks. We’re now looking at a percentage a minute. I’ve been at this for 22 minutes with more than 2.5 hrs remaining.

Coffee shops are NOT the place for individuals dealing in digital fields to work. What will it take to change this, no one knows. We can hope and petition that one day bandwidths will be blazing across the U.S. (and internationally) BUT in the meantime… Put on a pot of coffee and enjoy the office. Hell, put up some decorations and build it comfier than your local coffee shop.

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston

Keith is the Managing Partner of i3 Events but is most widely known as the outspoken publisher of the event industry blog PlannerWire. In addition to co-hosting the Bullet List and Event Tech Pull Up Podcasts, he has been featured in Plan Your Meetings, Associations Now, Convene, Event Solutions, and has appeared on the cover of Midwest Meetings Magazine.

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