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Wave Loch Sets Up at IAAPA Trade Show

It is always amazing to me how people think that when you are traveling for business that it is supposed to be like a vacation. With the age of the web and cell phone, it is more like a 24 hour a day work fest. There is no unconnected downtime. Such is the dilemma surrounding a trade show. It is a non-stop barrage of customers, suppliers, and relationships. Each day starts early and usually goes very late – somewhat like “groundhog day” for professionals who like to stand on their feet! What you don’t always see is what is happening before, during, and after the show.

Each show is preceded by months of preparation including model building, brochures, booth prep, travel arrangements, meeting prep, accommodations, and just about anything else under the sun. At Wave Loch, Andrew Thatcher is our ring leader for the cause, directing traffic, keeping milestones in check and basically telling us all what to do – a task he relishes! The show starts on Tuesday and runs through Friday with hours from 10AM to 6PM, so you had better come prepared, as the week is a marathon with sprints intersecting at various times.

As we arrive Friday at midnight after an all day of travel, everyone is looking to fight for the best room, (as we rent a house in Kissimmee) and put their head on a pillow. The next two days are a full on assault of the trade floor space, building it into the Wave Loch image. There are pods to assemble, detailing on the models (FlowRider, FlowBarrel, and WaveOz), overhead signage, and lots more. As Monday turned into a bit of a down day, the younger crew were pushing for some activity, so we headed out to the Orlando Watersports Complex (OWC) where Derek and Kristin proceeded to ride for a couple of hours. Derek, feeling his oats, went for a few ramps and rails on his first journey, while Kristin rode fluidly until encountering turn #3.

After the session it was time for refueling and then a pit stop at Fantasy Surf (link) to get reacquainted with a FlowRider Double. We had a blast riding with the locals, including FLOW Tour expert rider Luis Linares, FLOW Tour JR Men’s National Champion Nicholas Sanchez, and our host lifeguard, Gilberto. It was a fun session as everyone (except for me) was ripping. I can tell you that riding a double is a real treat as in San Diego we “only” have a FlowRider Single (and a FlowBarrel Ten!).

Tuesday AM came very quickly and we were off to the “Show.” The first bit of news came in prior to the start of the show when it was discovered that Aquatic Development Group (ADG) and Whitewater West Industries (WWI) formed a new strategic alliance as licensees of Wave Loch, so it was smiles all around from Geoff Chutter, Ken Ellis and Tom Lochtefeld. That set the stage for the entire show, as the Wave Loch booth was packed with global clients of ADG, WWI and Wave Loch.

The show continued to buzz with excitement as interested onlookers stopped in awe of our booth, armed with wave models, videos, palm trees and all. Our booth was a must see and our wave models created quite the splash, literally, especially our latest and greatest addition, the WaveOz. With the ability to hold more riders than ever before, we are all stoked about this latest creation as are our future prospects, who couldn’t stop gawking at our model. We even had the pleasure of being interviewed by the “coastercrew”. Watch the full interview here.

Each day brought more momentum – meetings scheduled in an impromptu manner, clients satisfied, inquiries galore – and by Thursday the show was starting to peak, and with it, Wave Loch hosted its annual BBQ whereby the attendees of WWI, ADG and various global clients invaded our humble abode to devour 5 lbs of Salmon, 16 lbs of Top Sirloin, and various other delights (chicken, asparagus, shrimp, etc) prepared by Andrew and yours truly. After slaving in the kitchen for 4 hours, Andrew and I relaxed with a VERY large glass of red wine. Steve Wagner entered the euphoria known as a Bronco mania – as they defeated the Jets (much to the chagrin of the ADG crew) on Thursday night football – although no one really paid much attention as stories flowed, along with spirits, and gamesmanship (pool and air hockey).

The Friday of IAAPA is a bit anticlimactic as no one ever knows what to expect on the last day of a four day show. As the day turned into the home stretch, Kristin decided to try her knack for being a mascot, and actually got one person to buy it on the spot with her aggressive behavior (see Kristin in action in the video on the right)!

As the clock struck 4PM, it was all hands on deck to dismantle the booth, and as we rolled into our house at 10:30PM, we were reminded of the 4AM wakeup call to catch our flight out of Orlando. It was a fitting end to an exhausting but great week. All right everyone, back to work and follow up on those leads!!

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