Back From Vegas
The adventures of your favorite rookie are going pretty well. I've just returned from my first industry business trip to PPAI Las Vegas. Prior to this cross-country journey, I certainly had not done much traveling. In fact, post-college, most of my life has been split between tiny beige cubicles and the weird mix of pine trees and delis that is South Jersey. (Seriously, there are eight delis on the maybe five-mile street that leads to my house! Eight! Who needs that many sandwiches?)
With that in mind, there's a lot I'd like to discuss from my trip, but since this is “Michael Cornnell's Promo Marketing Blog,” and not “Mike's Blog o' Somewhat Inane Travel Stories,” I'll try to keep things on topic. Though there was tons of material that was really noteworthy from my first show, like the QCA release, Anvil Knitwear's environmental/social accountability seminar, how cool the fashion show was, or the just glimpsing the sheer enormity of the industry in general, I suppose that I would have to say, more than all those things, I was really stricken with how friendly and nice everyone was.
I don't mean “Hi how are you? Come see my booth” nice. I'm talking about above-and-beyond congeniality. In my wanderings from booth to booth, the people I spoke with, overall, I got the sense that it was more than “just business.” They seemed to be genuinely excited to be talking about laser engraving or new color schemes or just how business was going in general.
Not that I was expecting everyone to be jerks, but in my previous writing positions (regional magazines and technology writing), I was accustomed to reporter/reportee relationships being sterile at best, but more often than not, sort of adversarial. In this industry though, it seems like sincere friendships aren't at all uncommon.
Suppliers were embracing and laughing with some of my fellow editors like they were old friends, joking around, gossiping, or just catching each other up on what was new in each other's lives. When I was introduced to editorial contacts at companies through my coworkers, it was the most natural, easy thing, like meeting a distant relative at a wedding or something. On my own too, when I caught up with those that I'd interviewed, they were so friendly and complimentary, that I was somewhat taken aback.
Certainly, all this kindness was pretty great. While I know that my coworkers and the magazine are awesome, it's nice to here the same from outside sources. Especially in regards to the magazine, since there isn't really much better than being awash in compliments about your work. So, thought its fairly lame to have two thank-y blog posts, I do want to thank everyone for the kind words and compliments, and for those of you heading to Dallas, I'll see you in a few days.
* Readers looking for your Charles Plyter fact of the week, here goes: As of Jan 7, 2008, Charles is a proud father! While convincing him to post pictures of his new son Pascal for public viewing might be a hard sell (though I always encourage hassling him, so feel free to ask), take my word for it—the baby is exceptionally cute. In fact, I've been trying to think of better adjectives to describe said cuteness justly, but so far all that's happened is that I'm sitting in my cube giggling about how cute Pascal is. Obviously I need to get back to work before my coworkers have me committed, but if you want to send Charles congratulations on his cute kid, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.