Thinking About the Winter Meetings

I’ve been pontificating quite a bit about Minor League re-branding efforts over the past several weeks, and a significant one was unveiled this past Saturday in the form of the Reading Fightin Phillies. (read all about it HERE).

But let’s change the pace up a bit. In a little less than two weeks, I will be traveling to Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel for the Baseball Winter Meetings. Yes, a return to the dome! I definitely won’t be having any sort of anxiety attack related to the antiseptic and vaguely alien surroundings, no siree Bob!

The Gaylord Opryland, not to be confused with Perry.

2012 marks my sixth Winter Meetings, and by this point I’ve developed a bit of a routine: attend the Bob Freitas business seminar on Monday, explore the Trade Show on Tuesday and check in on the PBEO Job Fair on Wednesday. It’s not a bad routine, as routines go, and I am proud of the fact that I can consistently provide a fresh perspective on what it means to attend the Winter Meetings. (While MLB wheelings and dealings get all of the ink, a far greater degree of the business attended to involves the Minors: it’s a non-stop barrage of networking, hiring, buying, planning, scheming, dreaming and, of course, boozing.)

Searching for deliverance, 2011

HOWEVER! I nonetheless would like to freshen things up a bit, while expanding the ways in which I cover this event. Here are three of the ideas that have materialized within my brainspace thus far:

Job Seeker Journal — Are you a first-time Winter Meetings attendee, looking to land your first job within the competitive world of professional baseball? If so, would you like to keep a journal of the experience (from initial expectations to final results or lack thereof) that would run on MiLB.com and/or this blog? Let me know – benjamin.hill@mlb.com

Trade Show Vendor Profile – First time exhibitor at the Trade Show? I think it would be interesting to cover the origin of the product in question, development of the company thus far, and the expectations regarding this, your inaugural Winter Meetings appearance.

Instant Interview — Are you going to be at the Meetings, and, if so, would you like to share your reasons for being? Send me an email and we’ll find time for a short interview within Opryland’s vast confines that will later be posted on this blog. This is open to ANYONE attending.

Schmoozing in Orlando, 2010

But most importantly — what about YOU, a loyal blog reader who presumably will NOT be in Nashville.  What aspects of the Winter Meetings do you find interesting, or would you like to read more about? Let me know, and I’ll do my best to pursue. The bottom line is, as always, to provide the best content that I can for my readership!

Finally, as those of you who have attended the Winter Meetings are aware, they are a big-time opportunity for networking (or, stated less elegantly but more accurately: schmoozing). One of the biggest benefits of attending, for me and many others, it to meet new people and to “put the name to the face” of those who I have only dealt with via phone/email/Twitter/etc.

So, please, make sure to say hello! I’ll do my best to brave the hotel lobby hordes each evening, in the interest of engaging with as many people as possible, and am always amenable to conversation. The recognition I receive in Nashville, however paltry, will be used as ego-fuel to get me through the lean winter months ahead. Trust me, it’s needed.

So there you go. The Winter Meetings. They are coming up. I will write about them. I hope that you will find value in what I write.

benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

4 Comments

Ben-I’ve always been interested in how a big club chooses it’s affiliates. Is it simply location? I follow the Midwest League, and notice franchises swapping affiliates like high school girl friends. What’s the point? Why dump Clinton just to pick up Burlington? Just curious, thanks!!!
–Mike

Ya I’ll +1 that, too Ben. Great question.

You clearly left “get a haircut” out of the Nashville routine. Have fun man.

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