Day 532

…and the storm hit.

In Sales & Promotions, a mid-term exam. (Hmmm, what ARE three ways to find out what your customers want?)

Then the biggie: A full 20-minute presentation to a panel of experts (Mike Arnold, Trafalgar Brewing; James McConnell, TD Bank; Ron Keefe, Granite Brewpub; Jason Ellesmere, Beau’s Brewing) presenting a business plan for an imaginary brewery, with full details of size, location, production, packaging, distribution, target demographic, marketing plans, competition, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), start-up costs, how much equity investment we would need, and income statements for the first two years of operations.

We had been arbitrarily split up into teams of seven for this project, but only two from each groups were allowed to enter the sanctum and make the presentation. And so it was, friends, that this poor scribe was chosen by his group to be thrown to the wolves… err… to be one of the lucky presenters.

In reality, it was dead simple: just make your presentation for 20 minutes, then for another 10 minutes,  get grilled on everything you had forgotten, glossed over or hoped the experts wouldn’t notice. No PowerPoint, no flipcharts, not even a smartphone app allowed. Aha, but handouts were admissible, so although we had already handed in a 6-page summary last week, my partner and I arrived armed with multiple copies of a 35-page business plan in full colour  (with “twenty-seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one”, as Arlo Guthrie used to sing in Alice’s Restaurant.) Even if we didn’t know what we were talking about, at least it looked like we knew what we were talking about.

We survived with only a few scrapes and bruises. No time to rest though–the mid-term week storm continues to rage tomorrow in the Teaching Brewery, where I will be brewing for marks.

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