There’s never been a Tent Conference like this before.
By Jill C. Lafferty
I have a theory that people drawn to the tent and event rental industry tend to be extroverts who enjoy working on teams that create awesome experiences for their customers. Viewed in that light, the 2020 Tent Conference at Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo in Florida makes perfect sense. Yes, there were more horses, cowboy hats and opportunities to ride a mechanical bull (and even watch some real bull riding) at this old-fashioned dude ranch than one typically finds at a tent industry event. But if there was ever a conference designed to build camaraderie across an industry, this was it.
Tent Conference featured all of the valuable education members have come to expect from a TRD event (see page 8). But to a person, the highlight of the gathering was the TRD Experience, an “Amazing Race”-style competition that had teams working together to complete challenges on the ranch to take home the title of “IFAI Tent Master.” Better yet, the teams were selected to help attendees meet new people and form connections across the industry while completing ranch challenges and cheering each other on (not to mention showing off some questionable golf cart driving skills).
In a way, team building is what trade association membership is all about—networking with professional colleagues and competitors to gain each other’s trust, so that when the industry needs to come together to, say, guide the code revision process in favor of proposals that increase public safety with reasonable and enforceable requirements (see page 48), a basis for cooperation has already developed.
How are you building your team for the 2020 season? Let me know, so that we can share your story with the industry-wide team.