Seeking and Finding at PSP Expo

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Back in August, I shared some thoughts about the nature of criticism and my belief that it's helpful to use critique as a means of effecting positive change. That column sparked a great deal of discussion and overall I've been gratified by the rich and often colorful exchange.

This time around I thought I'd offer a follow on to those salvos with a few observations about the PSP Expo, which takes place this month in Las Vegas.

Although the industry's "big show" (at least in the U.S.) has undergone a number of changes over the years and has often been the source of both praise and criticism, it has remained a touchstone event for many people and organizations. In good times and bad, it's where we've gone to check in with each other, rekindle friendships and business alliances and generally recharge our creative batteries for the coming year.

The show's various shifts in ownership and leadership have been well documented over the years, but through it all, the PSP Expo has remained a venue for new ideas and products, ongoing debates and watershed moments, as well as a source of frustration, conflict and controversy, and even at times a souring sense of futility.

For better and worse, the gathering has always been a reflection of both the industry's great potential and its endemic flaws.

I first attended the event back in 1989 in Orlando, Fla. I've been back 22 times since, and over those years I've come to believe that the PSP Expo is ultimately what we choose to make of it. If we show up looking for the warts and deficiencies, we will find them, no question. On the other hand, if we're open to the conversations, educational opportunities, personal connections and business opportunities, we'll find those as well.

In fact, I've never once attended the show and failed to come away with a suitcase full of inspiration, contacts and the kind of renewed enthusiasm that comes from realizing what we do actually does matter.

Comments or thoughts on this article? Please e-mail [email protected].

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