The Exhibit Designers and Producers Association (EDPA) held its annual meeting a few weeks ago – ACCESS 2010. The meetings are always held at a warm weather resort the week after Thanksgiving. It starts on Wednesday with a golf tournament or a fishing trip for the non-golfers (I always play golf since I can fish in ice in Michigan but can’t golf in it). Mel and I attended as the representatives of Classic Exhibits and ClassicMODUL.
The Marriott Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL was the resort this year. Yes it was chilly, but it was Sawgrass, so who cares. Our scramble group finished 2-under on the valley course. The team consisted of Ken Karns (Elevation Exhibits), Ray Montague (Avalon), Gina Porcaro (Optima Graphics), and me. I think Gina and Ken got tired of carrying us. Ray had a bit of a breakthrough moment on a 100 yard chip shot. He yanked it left by 25 yards and said, “I must just have to aim to the right. I have been pulling that shot left for 45 years.” We all had a good laugh. Well, not Ray, but the three of us and our caddy did.
Our caddy, Donald, was part golf coach, part psychiatrist, and part travel agent. He knew the distance from the edge of every rough to the center of the green on each hole. I was approaching the green on a short par 5, and Donald tells me I am about 75 away. I said, “Ah, a sand wedge. My favorite club.” So I take dead aim and proceed to scuff the ball about halfway to the green. Donald, who is clear across the fairway (up in some rough looking for Ray’s golf ball), hollers loud enough for the entire course to hear, “YARDS REID! YARDS!”
As most of you know, unlike TS2 or EXHIBITOR, this event is specifically for builders, suppliers, and distributors of the trade show industry. There are no end-users. This makes the event more casual and generally more cooperative. There’s more time to chat with distributors, strategic partners, suppliers, and competitors.
I want to commend Jeff Provost and the staff of EDPA. For the first time since I have been involved (about 7 years), I felt like our involvement in the Supplier Showcase was appreciated. I had Jeff and several staff members thank us for participating in the Showcase. I don’t recall that happening in the past, and it was very refreshing. Traffic in the Supplier Showcase was solid on both days because the EDPA made sure to place the sugar, caffeine, and carbohydrates in the show hall. Very smart.
Sessions focused on design as well as other relevant topics. We know design sells. We were reminded of it again. Thanks to those who presented.
Congratulations to Optima (Dave Brown and Gina Porcaro) for taking 1st Place in the Golden Ham Awards, sponsored by Exhibit City News. To see a video of their skit, click here. No offense Gina, but it will never compare to the Golden Pharaoh commercial Dave and I did in Tucson. Although we took second because a Brit pronounced “ALUMINIUM” as only a Brit can, it was the best skit (and everyone knows it).
A special thanks to Dave Mihalik and Lara Davie from ELITeXPO for all their hard work on the silent auction. The pheasant hunt I won will be a blast.
In the end, it was a great few days. My thanks to all who made it possible.