I took a vacation to Las Vegas last week. I’m not much of a gambler but I love the energy on Fremont Street. The unique characters, the bright lights and the largest gold nugget in the world
have an indescribable appeal for me. (Yes I had fun and no I didn’t win any money.)
The Las Vegas Market was also running the week I was there. Billed as the “most comprehensive furniture, home décor and gift market in the United States,” it attracts people from all over the world.
I shared the airport shuttle bus with two furniture store owners who had attended the show. It was the first trip to Market for the owner from South Dakota. His enthusiasm knew no bounds. He chattered about the many floors filled with furniture from all over the world, the people he’d met and the new layout ideas he’d picked up for his store. He’d taken some workshops, filled two bags with literature and samples and couldn’t wait to get back to his staff to share what he’d learned. “Next year” he vowed, “my entire team will attend!”
The furniture store owner from Oregon was more seasoned. He’d been in the furniture business all his life and had been to Market many times. He listened to the owner from South Dakota with an indulgent, almost sanctimonious smile. He too had been in Las Vegas for a week, but had only gone to Market twice. He hadn’t attended any workshops and any literature he’d picked up had been left in his hotel room wastebasket. Attending Market for him was an excuse to go on vacation.
As I listened to the passion and excitement in the voice of the first-time attendee, I thought about the excellent conventions and seminars I’d attended in the past. I remembered feeling the same excitement as the owner from South Dakota when I was presented with a new idea, a new product or a new way of thinking about something.
How do you approach the opportunity to learn something new? Are you filled with excitement, or is it a necessary evil? Do you go with the intention of learning new ideas? Do you ask lots of questions? Do you meet new people? Do you set a “show goal” for yourself that will improve your company, your customers and/or your staff?
How do you plan to approach your next learning opportunity?