Trade Shows a-Poppin!
Over the next days I'll be attending two different trade shows in the sunny Southland. At the SHOT Show in Orlando, which is a hunting show, I'll be checking out the new makes and models of binoculars and spotting scopes from all the optics manufacturers. Over the years I've developed quite a few friends at this show, which alternates between Las Vegas, NV, and Orlando, FL, so I no longer feel like an outsider, even though our publications are not about hunting or fishing.
The SHOT Show also features a huge paramilitary/police equipment area. One year I accidentally wandered into that building while looking for a specific booth of a book publisher. Being surrounded by police, Navy SEALS, ninjas, James Bond wannabees, and all their associated heavy armament and gear was a bit unsettling. "This one's just a bird watcher. Release him back to gen pop."
Last year, at the SHOT Show in Vegas, you might recall that I sat next to another Bill Thompson on the plane ride. There were also sightings of Ted Nugent and Wayne Newton.
On Friday we go to Bird Watch America in Atlanta, the birding industry's largest annual trade show. BWD has attended every Bird Watch America since the start, so it's like an annual reunion of colleagues and friends. It's great to reconnect with folks and interesting to see what new products are coming onto the market. Last year it was several new handheld digital devices. Who knows what it will be this year.
The forecast calls for a chance of karaoke. Consider yourself warned.