by Walter E. Tobin
Can you imagine packing a suitcase full of your best “business costumes?” (Now where did I put that blue blazer??? I bet I will be the only one wearing one…) Where is my Global Entry Card? Do I even remember how to get to the airport? Where to park? Is my favorite spot still there? Will it remember me?
We headed out the door like an old prize fighter dusting off his old boxing trunks, to do battle at the airport. Getting through security, trying to find a coffee shop that is open…Getting used to wearing a mask while at the airport, on the plane and in the Uber/taxi.
Boy, did all of this feel so good! Who would have ever said that we would miss the travel issues and challenges? But we did!
We had over 550 folks in attendance at our 2022 ERA Conference – a record for sure in the recent past! Folks were excited to see each other, exchanging fist bumps, elbow bumps, handshakes and many hugs. We were all like school kids returning to school after summer vacation, dying to see old friends and get caught up on the past two years and to just be happy to be back in person once again!
The level of enthusiasm and happiness was pervasive throughout the entire Conference venue. The breakfast and lunch lines were filled with happy people who all kept looking around for friends, old and new. Our breakout sessions were jammed with folks wanting to listen and learn from each other.
And if that was not enough? ERA hosted an off-site party on Monday night that was outside of the official Conference program to give folks a place to go, network some more and have a few laughs. What happened? It was SOLD OUT! Over 450 folks who had been together ALL day Monday decided WE NEED MORE and attended the off-site party.
So, here we are again and in Las Vegas no less. Seeing old friends, making new ones and celebrating our great industry at this great event: EDS!
Why is EDS so special to all of us? Well, it has been held for most of our careers; an annual event that we all have gotten used to attending. Perhaps some of us have openly spoke of “having to go to EDS again” in the past, having to put together so many presentations, updating so many sales funnels, enduring the fight for the elevators, the early mornings and the late evenings and finally, the dreaded follow up. There are so many open action items from our reviews and meetings and then we have to sort through so many business cards and try to remember where I met that person and what we agreed on.
So many things to do and so little time. But secretly, I think most of us LOVE IT! The thrill of the hunt, the smell of the crowd, the action, the excitement, the overpriced coffee, lunches, dinners and yet, we cannot wait until we do it again!
Our industry is made up of great folks who all work hard and who love our industry. We will be amazed at how many old friends we run into and we’ll share some war stories and a few laughs.
So take a breath. Pace yourselves. The days start early and run late. Try to take notes and follow up when you get home and try to “never confuse activity with accomplishment!”
It is often said: “What gets measured gets done.” What are you measuring at EDS this year? Write it done, follow up and then take a bow!
Stop by the ERA center and meet our team, have a cookie and relax a bit…and get ready for your next meeting!
It will all be worth it, trust me.