So far during my year as IAFE Chair, I’ve traveled from San Diego, California to Naples, Florida – and it seems like all points in between. It has been heartwarming to see the PURE JOY as our fair family reunites for various state, provincial, and zone meetings. We as a fair industry have always enjoyed getting together to learn, “borrow” ideas, network, and share successes and failures.
For many of us, the only thing better than a fair is a meeting of fair people. It also seems that we appreciate those opportunities to gather with our fair family even more after they were taken away from us during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s so good to be together again!
I have always felt the importance of gathering together as an industry is shown in two simple Bible verses: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10). In fact, those verses were in the back of my mind when we announced “Fairs United” as our theme for this year. When we gather, more than anything, we are encouraging each other to keep up the great work that we do for our communities.
While our regional meetings are great, there is only ONE true industry-wide gathering – the IAFE Annual Convention and Trade Show. Our meeting November 27-30 in Indianapolis will be the culmination of our “Fairs United” initiative as we come together in a brand-new city. For many of you (like 65% of our membership), the location of this convention will be within a one-day drive making the educational and networking opportunities more available than ever. And just like each of our fairs, we have several new unique “attractions” ranging from off-site learning sessions to a former NFL player delivering the keynote address to Fairapalooza. I hope to see you there!