COLUMN As the Saws Turn
recently read an article in a conservapeople have begun returning to the work tion magazine about woodland prethey are so passionate about. Surely, scribed burns. These are intentionally though, fear and uncertainty have cast set and managed fires in a deep forest or long shadows in recent months, and woodland. The fire helps manage weeds there are scars left behind. and undesirable growth, helps reMany of us will come out of this duce the risk of wildfires, restores experience in a vastly different nutrients to the soil and leads place—both emotionally and to more desirable natural plant professionally. But what if this is growth. That all sounds good. the time to evaluate your priorHowever, when you are By Jim Obermeyer ities, your passions, what drives watching the woodland burn and motivates you? Perhaps this happen, it seems so destructive. Flames is the opportunity to make changes you creep across the forest floor, sometimes have been thinking about for a long time catching downed logs that blaze hot and but never had the time to explore? Somesound like a roaring storm. The earth times, in the face of seeming disaster, is scorched, scars are left at the base of there is significant opportunity. large trees. It all seems lost for a time. How we do come out of it will say a lot Not too much different than what our about who we are and where we will go world may have seemed like recently. from here. Will we join together to survive But then the restoration begins. Slowly and grow collectively? Will we be hurtful the forest begins to grow again. This time or helpful? Will we be selfish or selfless? with healthy, natural plant life. Birds and I certainly have to be concerned for small animals return, this time without the my own situation and my own family added burden of invasive shrubs and vines. and friends, but I am also concerned for Soon the forest is teeming with life again. the people in my company, and in the By the time you read this—at least a partner companies that I work with in month or more after I’ve written it—I this industry. And I am also concerned am hopeful that our restoration has for the industry as a whole. It will rebegun full force. That our industry has quire the combined efforts of all of us to begun to show signs of life, that our overcome this.
Like many of you, I am tired of overused words and phrases: “pivot,” “new normal,” “these times” and “stay safe.” I don’t need to hear them again! I just want to get back to work and get back to seeing all my industry friends and get back to walking the show floor. But the reality for us in this industry is that it will, in fact, be different…at least for the near future. Because of that, and in spite of that, I strongly believe that how we treat each other, how we re-engage and how we work together for the benefit of our companies and our industry will determine our success going forward. We will come through these dark times. And yes, there will be scars. But may they remind us to care less about the unimportant things and more about those that matter—faith, family, friends, coworkers, industry, community. Restoration will come. See you on the show floor— soon, I hope. Jim Obermeyer has been in the tradeshow industry 38 years, both as a corporate tradeshow manager and exhibit house owner. He is currently a vice president at Hamilton Exhibits and can be reached at email@example.com.
12 July/August 2020 Exhibit City News
7/1/20 9:21 AM