ProMat 2023 - Lessons Learned
Much like the migratory creatures of our animal kingdom, those of us in the material handling world make our biennial pilgrimage to Chicago to attend and/or present at the ProMat show. It was different this year because there was no in-person show in 2021, thus whether we admit it to ourselves or not, I believe a lot of us were itching to go to Chicago to regain that warm sense of familiarity that most of us crave after living through a pandemic.
Those of us more advanced in years can remember when ProMat was located at the old McCormick Center and traditionally held in January. January in Chicago. On the windy shores of Lake Michigan. For the last few shows however, MHI (the hosts of ProMat) has graciously moved the show to March instead of January. This year it did not make much difference. It was cold and windy. It was just like January except there was less snow on the ground. Those of you who have been involved in setting up booths up the week before the show know that they keep open all of the outside dock doors and the trade show floor inside is a frozen tundra of packing crates, rigging trusses, and fork trucks.
PULSEROLLER was geared up for the event this year with a large booth and some new products to present plus some new folks on board who had little to no trade show experience. It was up to the older and experienced folks to show these new kids the ropes. In our pre-show huddle before going to Chicago, we (as in the older experienced “coaching staff” of which I am a member) gave pointers, one of which was something to the effect of “we will be going out for dinner and such in the evenings and having a few cocktails is OK, just do not overdo it. There is nothing worse than being hungover and reeking of booze in front of customers at the show”.
Little did I know that come Sunday night (as the show starts Monday the next day), I would take one for the team and take it upon myself to demonstrate to the new kids what not to do on an evening out on the town. I cleverly did not encourage these young pups to say multiple times “hey, now let’s go here for one more”, but I went along clandestinely. Around 2 am or so the compounding effects of spirits, ale, then more spirits, then more ale, etc. started to wreak their inevitable havoc on my demeanor (and noggin). This of course was planned and on purpose to glaringly demonstrate to these young pups what not to do; at least that is my story and I am sticking to it.
Needless to say, Monday (all darn day by the way) was not kind to me and at least I hope that both our new and experienced PULSEROLLER team will retain the images of me in my full wretched malodorous glory that day so as to never get into that state themselves in the future. While time will tell if they heed the warning, the entire team did a great job introducing our numerous new products including Senergy-Ai-48, Senergy-IDC, and Raptor MDRs.
Maybe someday this demonstration will be remembered and revered in Pulseroller lore, hopefully to the tune of a Klingon opera. Now fully detoxed, I can’t wait until 2025 so I can do it again.