The Difference a Year Makes
- By Matt Jones
- Sep 12, 2022
What a difference a year makes.
Last year wasn’t just my first GSX conference, it was my first trade show ever. I wrote about the whiplash of going from working from home in my two-bedroom apartment to the massive spectacle of the show floor. I was a little over six months into my position here at Security Today/Campus Security & Life Safety and hadn’t made many professional contacts—or set any booth appointments. I spent most of the show doing laps through the aisles, starting conversations at random, collecting freebies, and trying to keep busy.
This year, I hit the ground running. I had booth appointments every 30 minutes all day long. I bounced like a ping-pong ball from row 1100 to row 800 to row 2300 to 600 to 1700 to 1900, back and forth across the floor. I wrapped up half the editorial for our last print magazine of the year in about five hours.
When I checked in with my girlfriend after the show, she asked with a combination of dread and amusement how many goodies I was bringing home to stuff in my desk drawer. She seemed surprised when I told her none so far—I was too busy working.
To be fair, my time at the conference is pretty front-loaded. My Tuesday is (only slightly) less busy, and Wednesday is almost totally open. But Monday was one of those days that flew by because I had so much to do that I lost all track of time passing. Before I knew it, it was 4:30 p.m., and we were headed back to the hotel to change and rest our feet before the after-show events started.
It’s nice to have my feet underneath me and a little clearer idea of what I’m doing. It’s nice to feel like I’m accomplishing something instead of spinning my wheels and running out the clock.
But before I leave, I’m gonna have to make time to strike up a conversation with whatever booth is handing out those canvas Moleskine notebooks. Those things are really cool.