It was a bitterly cold day in Toronto. It took a free ticket, the luxury of driving from my underground parking lot to the underground parking lot at the Toronto International Boat Show, but I went. It started out as a job to file a report, network a bit and get out (out of the house, not outside… at all). The idea was get there at noon and out at 3pm. The planned report was 60-90 seconds. Seven hours at the show and an editing day later I had almost 13 minutes edit (below) I was entirely in love with.
I Went To A Boat Show and You Should Too!
What happened? How did three hours become seven? Did I just spent $10 on terrible pizza, chips and a pop? The reality was even for someone with zero intention of buying a boat these shows are massively fun. Sure you might not have a fortune to buy a yacht, but you could rent a boat ride and see the downtown core like never before. There were also a lot of towns surrounding the big city that is Toronto offering discounted adventures.
Maybe best of all was the people. I had my stupid report on “the International aspects” of the Toronto International Boat Show. While a few acknowledged the premise was nonsensical (as most of my premises are). The rest had fun with it: took fun jabs at me, the show, their own companies. While I had a microphone to stick in their faces, there was nothing stopping someone else from asking silly questions or having their kids run around in their socks on boats… and sure enough that was happening all around me. It was a beautiful brand of chaos.
As a society we have become increasingly isolated. A good weekend for me might be watching a UFC Fight Night, a WWE Network Special, a couple BPL soccer matches, an F1 race (or maybe just the qualifying), a tennis major, a couple NBA games… the list goes on and on. You add in some video games and some terrible food and I am pretty satisfied… very satisfied. I could spent 48 hours without going outside… easily and I have countless times.
Luckily along the way I got myself into a networking group and attended some trade shows. These settings force you to get out there and meet people. Many of these are free (which means you can get terrible food or drink with the money you save).
You may not have a local boat show… let alone an international one. There may not be a free networking group in your industry of choice. But find something, get out there. Sports is a great thing it connects us in a way that pushes past any and all barriers. Don’t use it as an excuse to stay home whenever possible… just sometimes. Use it as a tool to understand the wider world around you.
Thoughts expressed are my own and do not reflect my employer.