Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Thursday at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, says SPI’s Senior VP of Trade Shows Gene Sanders (ExpoGene), is much like other setup days for NPE2012 — except for M.A.T.T., the gigantic inflatable machine man.
In the movie “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray’s character wakes up every morning to the same song by Sonny and Cher (not Bill and Sherri. Man, I’ve heard that cat sing, and witnessed mice scattering, locusts flying, birds migrating, and people rolling on the ground covering their ears in pain), and his routine is exactly the same each day.
Move-in here in Orlando can take on a few of those characteristics as well. Although I haven’t seen Punxsutawney Phil crawl back into his hole, I did see an exhibitor sleeping under his draped table. Today was another day with tons (literally) of equipment and displays rolling in, meeting a lot of happy people, and converting (there’s that church reference again) a few who appear to have a stone in their shoe. We call it customer service. Just another day!
What’s new and different, however, are the twin M.A.T.T. inflatable behemoths looming over the West and South/North buildings like something from a Transformers film. (See the photo in the center below.) For those of you who don’t know (or have been on the moon for the last six months) M.A.T.T. is the acronym for Machines And Tomorrow’s Technology, which goes well with our Return of the Machines slogan for NPE2012.
Passersby on the street are
stopping to take pictures of their kids standing next to M.A.T.T. I only hope that some little kid doesn’t whip out his Swiss Army knife, whereupon M.A.T.T. will go from being a much larger than life sentinel to a heap of vinyl viscera!
Showtime is rapidly approaching and we here are excited to see everything up and running, to be opening our doors and to be welcoming visitors to the show. We still have a lot to do before we reach that point, so tomorrow we will wake up and do it all over again — not that we get a lot of sleep or even see our shadows like old Phil does. It’s dark when we come to work and dark when we leave. So tomorrow, like today, we will please everybody and move that much closer to the opening of NPE2012. Until then, I am Expogene, “On the Scene!”
Images From the Ongoing Setup of NPE2012 in Orlando, Florida, March 29, 2012