Wow, what a convention and tradeshow! I’ve probably been to 20 or so IHRSA conferences and trade shows in my career (thus far). This year’s event seemed to be the best I’ve ever experienced. Granted, there is some bias here for me. This was my last IHRSA conference as an IHRSA Board Member. After having the privilege of serving as a Board Member, Committee Chair, Chairman and Ex-Officio over five wonderful years, I’m more attached emotionally and purposefully to this industry and Association than ever before, especially cognizant of the important public policy work and industry community/family.
The words that seem to keep popping into my mind about our industry are “community” and “family.” That may sound cliché. At this particular convention, I realized how many people I have crossed paths with from working together, competing against, and in some cases, both. The emotions around these reconnections are not around differences but around good times and commonality: how together we all seem to make each other better. I can’t imagine another industry where competitors, both in the club sector and equipment and supplier sectors, willingly come together to embrace a sense of community and betterment for an entire industry. The trade show was amazing. The keynotes were thought provoking and inspiring. The sessions, panels and roundtables were action-oriented. Attendees/operators, consultants, vendors, manufacturers and suppliers all added ingredients to a recipe that was simply out of this world.
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