This past weekend I had the honor of being invited to be an exhibitor at Cabelas "Captains Weekend". The event was designed to celebrate the outdoors with a diverse mix of local hunting and fishing guides and outfitters. The event was from 9:00 am till 4:00 pm on Saturday and Sunday and there was a steady stream of people both days. Being no stranger to "trade shows" as I have done many for manufacturing job, this was the first time I would do a show as "Irish Flies". My thoughts, my knowledge and my vision all out there for everybody to see, exciting and intimidating at the same time. When you are doing a show for a company you work for it is easy to forget how much planning goes into something like this. When you are the chief cook and bottle washer it really puts things in perspective. Will it present well? Will the people find it engaging and ask questions? Will it be worthwhile? Will I make an ass out of myself. All of these things were going through my mind as I got ready for the show to start.
I was happy to see several of my old customers. Mike, Dave, Kevin, Adam, Ben, Jimmy, Jeff, Ed and Mark all stopped by and I had good conversations with all of them. It is surprising in this "social media" age just how many people are not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram of any other of the internet conduits out there. I am glad I got to re-connect with many of my old friends. They all know where to find me now and I am happy for that.
I figured I would do some light tying mainly for the kids. They didn't know it, but every kid's favorite color this weekend was green. I would have them sit next to me as I tied them a Green Weenie. I must say, it was nice to see the majority of the kids really into what I was doing, asking intelligent questions and really paying attention. I didn't see it till I downloaded these next pictures, but the smiles are awesome! These pictures really made me feel good about what I am doing, a validation if you will, and I am glad to be a part of it.
My next door neighbors
Anyone who has ever worked a show like this will understand when I say the people in the booths next you can make or break the show. When you stand next to somebody for 2 days you really get to learn a lot about them. Fortunately I had good people to my right and my left. On my right Cabelas had set up a booth to promote a new line of SPF clothing. Kevin, the Cabelas rep, and I spent 2 days talking hunting, fishing, retail sales etc. Kevin is a really good guy that knows his stuff. The next time you are at the Christiana store and need help look him up. I am sure he will get you headed in the right direction. On my left were a couple real nice guys promoting their new website
Realizing there was not a social website dedicated to the outdoors, Jake and Jeremiah put their heads together and came up with the outdoor focused social media site called Braggin Rightz. If you enjoy looking at outdoor related pictures and interacting with other outdoor enthusiasts you may want to check this out. Touted as "Facebook for the outdoors without the drama" This is a site you can feel comfortable letting your kids look at without fear of what they might see. I have spent a little time on Braggin Rightz I can appreciate the no drama part. Just last week I was dealing with some jackass after I posted my blog about the Harvey Leader. I really don't understand the "drama queen" mentality of some people, and am happy to say I didn't see any of that on this site. For more info or to register for Braggin Rightz click here. If you are the social media outdoor type you will be glad you did.
At the end of the second day I spotted a former customer turned friend coming down the isle. We have recently been talking and I was hopeful he had a little something for me. He did not disappoint and handed me my custom 3D Printed fly reel. That's correct, a fly reel manufactured completely on a 3 dimensional printer.
Being a Machinist by trade 3D printing is something that is very intriguing to me. I cant wait to get this reel out on the water and get some fish on it. I talked with my buddy and we agreed to do a future blog post about the process for printing the reel and some of the things he is working on for the future. This reel is WAY COOL!!!!!
The printed reel was a perfect capper to a great weekend. I would like to thank Cabelas for hosting this event and Eric for inviting me to join. Most of all I want to thank all of the people that stopped by to talk this weekend, your support means the world to me. Thank you! till next time...
BTW, I was looking at the weather for the end of the week...maybe next week I can actually do a blog about fishing!