Somehow, I wound up with the “event gene.” I’ve always enjoyed attending and organizing events of all sizes, whether they’re simply social gatherings at my house or events as large as the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo.
When I cleaned out my desk at my last job, I emptied out 15 years’ worth of badges, lanyards and nametags from various events I attended over the years. What a walk down memory lane that was! When I was in grade school, I organized an event — a neighborhood football game — with all my buddies where we sent official invitations to our parents to come watch the game. A couple of them actually showed up.
In my professional career, I’ve organized all kinds of events from consumer poker runs to watercraft shootouts and consumer testing events to the Top 100 Dealers Program and the last couple Marine Dealer Conference & Expos. And every year, I attend as many marine related events as possible.
As I write this blog, I’m sitting in the airport in Dallas-Ft. Worth, on my way home from the Boating Trades Association of Texas Summit & Expo, a two-day event in Houston, where I gave the keynote presentation. Last week, I was in Louisville at the International Boatbuilder’s Exposition and Conference. I’ll be home just long enough tonight and tomorrow, to unpack, do some laundry, repack and leave for the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show tomorrow afternoon. And I’ll cap off event season next week by attending the Lorenz & Jones Marine Distributing Marine Market event, before I leave for the 2011 MDCE on Friday the 4th.
Being away from the wife and kids is never fun, but the time spent at the events, interacting with the industry fuels the passion I have for my job. They each offer a unique learning experience you can’t get behind your desk or on the sales floor. And the in-person networking is so much more effective than trying to build relationships over the phone or through social networking.
I hope to see you at one of the events, and by all means, if you’re at the MDCE in a couple weeks, stop by the MRAA booth and say “hi.” We’ve got a lot of exciting announcements to tell you about.
See you there … gotta go catch my flight.