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The Randy: More Than Twenty Years of Caring – By Jim Obermeyer

rsmgc-banner2_2009It’s an interesting thing, this trade show industry. We’ve had lots of conversations about how we all seem to fall into this business, from all walks of life, and once we get in, it’s hard to get out.

All you have to do is walk a big show once or twice and you’ll be scratching your head wondering: I see guys in suits and ties; I see guys in jeans and t-shirts – all hanging out together.  I’ve been in formal presentations in corporate board rooms and loose conversations in dusty bar rooms – with some of the same people.  And everything in between.

But there is one event every year where all these people come together and share the same space and the same passion for the same great cause – supporting our industry’s people in need. The Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic (RSMGC, or “The Randy”) is our industry’s way of helping our people get through some of the absolute toughest times of their lives.

It is amazing to me that the same guys that started this thing in 1995 are still at it, still part of the core team that puts this event on every year. Still spending hours and hours and days and days of their own time creating this event.  There are some deeply passionate folks on this team.

I joined this team a few years ago because I felt like it was time for me to quit bouncing around the outskirts of this thing and get more involved. Little did I know how quickly I would be drawn into it.

If you have not heard of The Randy, or what it represents in our industry, I could go into all the details of the history, who the volunteer board is and all the past recipients, but you can see all of that on the Randy’s website – I encourage you to check it out.

But I’d rather focus on what is going to happen at this year’s event – the 22nd year.  A couple of things to remember:

  • This year’s event is Friday, October 7th at Chateau Elan in Breselton, Georgia. Shotgun start is at 12:00 noon.  All golfer registrations also include the evening banquet.
  • The website is open and ready for your sign-up as a golfer or a sponsor. There are a wide range of sponsorship levels available to suit your desire and your budget.
  • You don’t have to be a golfer to attend the evening banquet. Banquet tickets are available separately on the registration website as well. The banquet will start at 7:00pm.
  • Special event rates for hotel rooms are available at Chateau Elan, the official headquarters hotel, and also at the nearby Country Inn & Suites. Register early as the room blocks fill quickly. See the hotel page on the website for rates and group codes.

Over the past 22 years the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic has helped over 140 industry families. It is the exhibition industry’s largest charitable event, and it is sponsored by the Exhibit Designer Producers Association Foundation.

If you have never experienced this event, let me just say this: You don’t have to be a golfer to be a part of a group of people from all over our industry who gather once a year to show support for our own folks who are in dire need of our help. Come see this just once.  I dare you.

Or, as RSMGC Director Mike Boone says: “Once you go, then you’ll know.”

See you on the show floor.

Jim Obermeyer has been in the tradeshow industry 35 years, both as a corporate trade show manager and exhibit house owner. He is currently a Vice President at Hamilton Exhibits and can be reached at


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