For the past eleven years, I have been exhibiting at three trade shows a year for the software company I worked for. There are a handful of exhibitors that does the same rotation as I do, some are competitors and some provide a partnership. A lot of time Russ got to go with me to these trade shows. We all tends to hang out together after hours for dinner or sight-seeing around town. We always had a good time and gotten to know each other’s pretty well.
When Russ gotten sick, we received a lot of well wishes and supports from these guys. During hospice, one of the most frustrating question I ever gotten was “What can we do to help?” Or “Is there anything you need?” I was already overwhelmed with the situation and didn’t know what I needed at the time. This is where I got one of the best encouraging words I ever needed from one of the vendors during these difficult times. She sent me a private message via Facebook and said “If love alone could heal, there isn’t a doubt in my mind Russ could be healed in a heartbeat. I see the way your eyes light up whenever you talk about him, your love is that deep and transparent. Stay strong and know there are countless people like me out here praying daily for both of you”. It was what I needed the most to give me the courage and the strength to be there for Russ. To this day, I still keep that message in my pocket as a reminder of the love that he and I had.
Back to the present day, many of the vendors have been following my blog and knew that this will be my last trade show. So, on the last day of trade show, we have always have a banquet and this is where they presented me with a gift for my journey, a GoPro video camera. I was shocked and honored that they went out of their way to get me something. In what industry do you see that competitors gets along with each other?
It was actually comical how came to decide to pick the GoPro as a gift. I didn’t realize that they were picking my brain for ideas while I was there. Apparently in one of my blog post, I mentioned that I has a list wish list of things that I needed but never posted it. Then, they thought of giving me a gift card for hotels but mentioned that I will be camping and couch surfing among the network of friends through the motorcycle community. At the trade show, we always have giveaway to attract business cards and one day, one of the vendor and I were walking around and I noticed that one of the give away was a GoPro and mentioned how cool it would be to have one of those. Hence the aha moment.
It’s a good thing I still have a few more weeks to learn how to use the GoPro before I begin my trip. I want to take a moment to thanks to all of those vendors who pitched in for the wonderful gift! I’m truly honored and will miss all of you guys.