by Jim Obermeyer
Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit worn out. And it’s not from being overworked. I think it’s from overexposure. Overexposure to the negativity and divisiveness that has become our nations culture. Whether it’s politics or the pandemic—the two biggest topics in our world for the last two years—there seems to be no end to the division being created among what used to be good friends and coworkers.
Everything now seems to be based on what side of the argument you are on. And I’m just getting tired of it. Is there not something else we can focus on that has a more positive outcome? Is there not somewhere where we can all come together for a common cause?
I do believe there is one event every year where all of us can 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 (“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 to support the family of a coworker killed in a car accident after a long shift during setup at the Sporting Goods SuperShow 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 number of 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: www.rsmgc.org. I encourage you to check it out.
What I really want to do here is to encourage you—especially right now—to consider joining this year’s event. It is Monday, Sept. 27, at the Berkeley Hills Golf Club in Duluth, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta.
Over the past 26 years the Randy Smith Memorial Golf Classic has helped more than 170 industry families with financial and emotional support, raising nearly $2 million in the process. It is the exhibition industry’s largest charitable event, and it is sponsored by the Experiential Designers and 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. Just come for the evening banquet and presentation. You will not leave the same.
It has been said that we really are a small industry, and we really are more like a large family. At an event like this it is also very apparent that there are a lot of people out there that care deeply for this family, and are willing to commit the time, effort and funds to show how much they care.
For me, for the last 16 years I’ve been there, it is the one time when everything else in the world—the competition, the politics and the divisiveness, all takes a back seat to being with friends and coworkers for what is most important—caring for those in our industry that need it. After all…we all bleed red.
Come see this just once. I dare you.
See you on the show floor…and see you at the Randy.
Jim Obermeyer has been in the exhibits and events industry 39 years, both as a corporate tradeshow manager and exhibit house owner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
This story originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. 2021 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 14. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_sept-oct_2021