Thursday, October 05, 2006

Arriving in Chicago

I made it into Chicago yesterday. Flights coming into the city were delayed yesterday morning due to some thunderstorms that rolled through, but my flight from Kansas City was only an hour late. Some of our other staff coming from Raleigh, NC, Atlanta, GA, and Stamford, CT, weren't so lucky with several hours of delays. I'm sure some of the attendees and exhibitors also experienced delays. Once I arrived in Chicago, however, the weather had cleared to reveal a gray fall day.

I checked into the hotel and took the Club Industry-chartered bus (it stops at all the show hotels) to the north building of the McCormick Place Convention Center. Amy Fischbach, our managing editor, had arrived on an earlier flight and already had everything in place in our booth. We're in a good spot right by the entrance to the exhibit area.

It was a typical pre-exhibit hall day. As attendees registered for the show at the front of the exhibit hall, the exhibitors set up their booths and their equipment in a semi-darkened exhibit hall. It's always a bit of a noisey day--forklifts beeping as they back up, people talking, boxes and crates banging, people hammering. It also always looks like quite a mess--no carpeting in the aisles yet, remants of boxes and styrofoam peanuts and packing paper strewn around the floor. It amazes me every year that the exhibit hall can look this way the day before it opens and just 14 hours later, it looks clean and exciting as the lights come up and the music comes on and the people come in.

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