Ah WEFTEC. The once a year shebang where we see most of our industry associates all in one place, and catch up on the latest technologies, case studies, and projects. It’s hectic. It’s exciting. It’s exhausting. It’s necessary. For many of us, it’s part of the job requirement.
For me it has always been fun. But for the last 10 years, my WEFTEC has consisted of me being tied to a booth for three full days, with little time to do otherwise. For the past hand full of years, it has required me to arrive a few days before the show so that I can help set-up the booth- or in more recent years, manage the entire booth set-up for my employer. Oddly enough I do consider that fun. Not in a “I just spent 10 days in Italy riding a motorcycle through Tuscany and seeing the beautiful Amalfi coast” kind of way. . . but. . . “fun”.
2018 was different. In a truly amazing way. . . Being able to step onto the exhibit floor and simply focus on people was so different than past years for me. To really and truly focus on every single person that I ran into, and be present—- it allowed me to listen without background noise, to be attentive without a nagging feeling of having somewhere I “had to be” or someone I “had to fill in for”. I was able to engage, wholeheartedly, with my associates, old colleagues, new acquaintances, and so many that I genuinely call “friend”. I was able to seek out people who I wanted to see and learn about, and catch up with- and take a close look at companies with interesting technologies just because I want to know…. I spoke to media outlets to learn more about how best to support my growing client base. And I had meaningful conversations. One. After. Another.
And you know what else. . . I couldn’t wipe that smile off my face, even after coming back home at the end of a long week at WEFTEC. To say it was a success is an understatement. Success isn’t measured in the number of business cards you take home at the end of the show- but the number of meaningful conversations you have had- and all the times you really connected with another human.
P.S. It was also pretty amazing to see 36 people running around the showroom floor on Tuesday, wearing turquoise polo shirts that I had the pleasure of designing for the Ops Challenge Judges. 🙂