Today, I got to spend some time hanging out with over 1,000 high school students at the 11th annual Virtual Enterprise Trade Fair held in San Diego. You can get more information at http://www.virtualenterprise.org. This event allowed high school students to compete in a business-simulation trade fair. Prior to the event, students created a virtual business and all of the materials that go along with running a business. This included budgets, marketing materials, trade show booth materials, and creating and practicing sales pitches.
At the fair the students raced against time to set up their trade show booths, get their billboards to the judges, and created the environment that you see at any major professional business trade show. Over the years I have been to hundreds of trade shows and some of the booths that I saw at the event today were better than some from companies with big budgets. The kids really showed creativity in figuring out how to market their businesses.
Today the kids were competing in categories like Salesmanship, Booth Design and Billboard Design. Prior to the event, the students competed in Web Design, Video Commercials, Financial Statements, Catalogs, and Newsletters. I was lucky enough to get to participate as a judge on the Boot Design and Salesmanship categories. I got to meet some REALLY energetic high school that are going to be future C level executives or super awesome additions to companies here in future.
I want to send a shout out to Jeff Woods the HTM Academy/VE Coordinator from Mount Miguel High School in Spring Valley, CA. Jeff and his school spent a LOT of time and effort in putting together a professional environment for these kids. I want to send a big thanks to Jeff for letting me participate. It was AWESOME!!!