This morning I board a flight back to sunny Florida after visiting the ON DEMAND event in Washington DC. Like any industry trade show, I had the opportunity to run into people I know, many of which are Xplor members.
Many of the people I ran into were looking forward to being at the Xplor Conference and Vendor Forum a little over a week away in St. Pete Beach. One of the members I quipped, “Just what you need, another trade show.”
Her reaction surprised me as she looked me straight into eyes and said “the Xplor conference is not a trade show, it is an event.” At first, I thought she was being sarcastic but she quickly followed with “for the last two years I have come back with ideas, I met new people and I was able to engage in meaningful dialogue. The Xplor event is different.”
After we finished our conversation with, “see you in a couple weeks”, I continued my trek on the show floor but was haunted by what she said. This being my 26th Xplor conference, had this old dog forgot what the event was and what it represented to the attendees? Was I too close to it and in being so, lost what Xplor was bringing to the table? Had I forgot this event made a difference in the industry?
What other industry event can you listen to great speakers and subject matter experts, each lunch with them and colleagues, visit with great vendors. Relax and network at the social events? (There are also lots of surprises for our 30th anniversary year. Get your picture taken with a real Oscar at the Kodak moment, meet Captain Jack Sparrow and be part of the birthday celebration)
She was right. It is an event. The perfect blend of education, information and networking and it is less than two weeks away. I am glad that I ran into her in DC and I thank her for reminding me why we do what we do.
Hope to see you in St. Pete Beach …. I know I am looking forward to it (again).
For more information visit http://www.xplor.org/Xplor2011/