Sorry to Ask, But What Is It That You Do?
It’s the number one question I find myself answering or explaining, especially this time of year.
During the holiday season, family functions with extended family and holiday parties with friends and “friends of friends” tend to rule the calendar. All of which are fun and provide great opportunities to touch base with those who you may only see once or twice a year. These gatherings always leave me chuckling a little, because inevitably I find myself answering a variation of the same question . . . “Uhmm, sorry to ask, but what is it that you do? I know you’ve told me before but . . . .”
Over the years, I have learned that the question can only be answered if you know the perspective of the person asking the question. For example, with third cousin Carl, a trainer of champion show toy poodles, the response is something like, “I work for a company that manufactures the exhibits that the 4H Club uses at the state fair. You know the little fold out thingy that you set behind them. Done . . . he understands.
Or, when Aunt Sally’s sister-in-law (from her husband’s side) Francine, a computer programmer asks, the response is “You know what CES and Macworld are, right? We build those sorts of exhibits.” Done . . . she understands.
But the one thing that never changes and always surprises me a bit is the overwhelming number of times I hear in return, “Oh! I never knew there was a industry like that.” Like the shows just happen on their own. Or as if every company builds their own exhibit.
The truth is that while we, as an industry of Exhibit Designers and Producers, are a small group by comparison, we service virtually ever segment of the economy. But try explaining that to Uncle Ned! Who once again blessed us with his “Special Fruitcake” . . . the fruitcake that NEVER gets eaten, not even OPENED to be exact. Why you ask? Let’s just say that Ned dabbled extensively in psychedelics in his past. So as a family, we’ve never really gotten to the point where we trust what might be in his “Special Fruitcake.” 🙂
How do you explain to relatives, friends, and strangers what you do for a living?
Have a safe and restful weekend!
Tags: Trade show industry