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SGIA Expo: You're Among Friends

(October/November 2017) posted on Fri Oct 06, 2017

SGIA is just around the corner, and it’s not just about money changing hands.

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By Andy MacDougall

Ever wake up at 4 in the morning, your mind buzzing because it just hit on the answer to some major problem that had been bugging you in your day-to-day life? A fully-formed solution in your waking dream, laid out in the most logical fashion. Mind pictures in 3D, live action words and chord charts, all there, complete. Of course, you are so happy and relaxed after this happens, you fall back into the deep sleep you've been missing for the last week as you tossed and turned thinking about the “problem.”

My “problem” was this column. And I really did jolt awake last week with a theme and a seemingly complete outline in my head. Which promptly evaporated when I woke up.

I can only remember the main theme: friends. The SGIA Expo is about friends.

We can read the ads and messaging from SGIA and visit all the exhibitors, and make the assumption that it’s all about business and making a deal. And for some, I guess that’s true – companies spend small fortunes to exhibit in the hopes of driving sales. It has to make financial sense to drag the equipment all that way and set it up to run for three days, then pack up and leave. I know this particular hell all too well.

But it’s not so black-and-white. (Nothing is.) For me, and hopefully some of you, the best part of the SGIA Expo experience is seeing old friends and making new ones. The business side, while important, is secondary to those moments when you make a warm connection with another person. Maybe it’s an old pal who moved across the country or someone you only see once a year at the expo.


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