Machismo part 2

I’m sunburned. I’m also convinced that the sun in Florida is closer to the earth than the sun in Arkansas. It’s quite the trick, but somehow, the sun has pulled it off.

I paid attention very closely to every detail of today trying to pull out snippets that would result in an entertaining and well thought out blogpost. I did this so well, in fact, that I’m pretty sure I could give you a replay of each moment from the time I enjoyed lump crab under a poached egg for breakfast until the time that I nearly smacked a loud and obnoxious guy riding behind me on the bus leaving the Ticketmaster party.

HEY GUY WHO WANTED THE BUS TO STOP AT THE RENNAISANCE – IT ISN’T GOING TO STOP THERE!

So quit complaining about the 2 blocks you’ll have to walk to get to your hotel.

You’re making Americans sound even more lazy than we’re already perceived to be.

And if said guy is reading this post, oh well. I still stand by my statement.

As the day wore on, I was worried I wouldn’t come up with a winning topic, but then it happened. It happened right on the floor in the middle of the trade show opening reception. A colleague said “There is just so much machismo in here… you know what I mean?”. I turned to him and said “And that is EXACTLY how I found out how wonderful this organization is”.

If you remember back to my post a year ago about being a wallflower, then you might remember I said something about how I couldn’t find a group to join at a reception. Lots of men… lots of older men… lots of pleated pants. It just wasn’t my scene, or so I thought.
I was almost beside myself when I heard this right out of the mouth of someone new to this organization tonight. Part of me was excited to go on and on about how it might seem like that on the outside, but really, it isn’t like that at all. But part of me had to take a step back and think about how to solve this.

I brought my colleague along from my venue. It’s his first time at Venue Connect… well… first time at a venue management industry conference at all. I had been introducing him to people all day. Some young, some retired but all of them a vault of valuable information. How can I help him to see beyond his first impression and see what I see? Can I change his perception or is he going to have to do that on his own. I suppose I had help doing this myself, but it was my spark that changed my view. What will his spark be?

I desperately want him to find it. I want him to experience what I do each time I attend an event like this. Maybe it will be tomorrow at the keynote session, maybe in a session about budget cuts and how to deal with them or maybe it will be over a drink at the after hours reception on the top floor of our hotel. I suppose where everyone finds it is different… or does everyone even find it?

*look of horror* I don’t even want to think about that. Sad.

In other news, I had to do an impromptu speech today. I thought the person asking me to go up in front of the room to talk about why returning to this conference after your first year is important was joking, but I could tell by looking at her she wasn’t. I made this speech last year, but it was written out and rehearsed. This year was unexpected, and thanks to some bad weather in Dallas causing delayed flights, desperately needed.

So I talked.

And I wasn’t nervous.

I’m still not sure who this Erin is, but I like her. Oh I like her a lot.

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