Live and Learn
By: Ryan Cravens
Joe Public (the poets of the 90’s) taught us that we need to Live and Learn before your bridge is burned. Now that you have a somewhat suspect earworm stuck in your head for the rest of the day, let me move on to the point. Many of us have been in this industry for years or even decades and that type of experience and knowledge can be very helpful and it can also be damaging. Missing trends and new products or services happen regularly if you keep doing things the same way.
One of the great things about the amusement industry is that there are several ways to keep up with the changing times or just get a different perspective. Bay Tek’s own Todd Louthain is a such big advocate of education, that he is the chairperson of the AAMA education committee. In fact, the upcoming Amusement Expo has a series of seminars on Tuesday February 27th to help fill your noggin with new thoughts and different viewpoints.
The tradeshows are not the only way to fill up on knowledge. There are several events that happen across the country that are becoming more popular every year. F2FEC is holding their annual conference from February 20th – 22nd and this has become a fan favorite for new companies getting into the industry as well as established companies looking to network and learn. Birthday University has several events throughout the year all over the country and from personal experience, it is a fantastic program.
Much of the time, it is new companies that are coming to these educational opportunities. However, do not let the new pups get a leg up on you because they are still thirsty. I learned a lot of tips and tricks by going to the Birthday University class last summer that I continue to share with customers, colleagues and fellow Bay Tekkers.
If traveling is not in the cards for you right now, take advantage of the different experience and knowledge from people within the industry. Reach out to operators from a different part of the country or sales personnel from distributors and manufacturers. Trends do not always happen all over the country at the same time and there may be something creeping up in the Northwest that is about to take over the rest of the country.
Get involved with your local associations and while you are learning from others, don’t be afraid to share some of the insights that you have picked up. The good thing about being a part of this relatively small industry is that we all want to see each other succeed and grow. As the industry continues to strengthen, it will give more opportunities to all of the members.
Never stop learning because you may miss out on a new business opportunity, a new favorite movie, a great song or even a new friend. Hopefully this rambling has displaced Joe Public from your head. Uh oh, it is back in there. Sorry.