I’m sitting 39,000 ft. above terra firma flying back to the West Coast from MACNA 2010 in Orlando and wanted to weigh in with a “newbie” perspective after three fun-filled days at the show. MACNA — we all hear about this big, incredible conference with just as many of crazy tales from after hours as there are cool new things out on the show flow. Its a great opportunity for hobbyists, manufacturers, vendors, and experts to get together, catch up and share their passion and enthusiasm for the hobby. The weekend is an endless stream of new faces, finally putting faces to the people you’ve been emailing and chatting with for ages, and catching up with friends you never can spend too much time around although sadly, you’ll only seen them once or twice a year if you’re luck.
Even in three days it’s hard to get to everybody’s booth and have the chance to see all the new gadgets and gizmos, while catching up on what’s coming down the road in the hobby. There were plenty of great speakers lined up and unfortunately, was only able to duck in to catch one and missed too many great talks from friends and people I really respect in the hobby. It’s great to have variety but its also tough to make choices and know you’ll probably be missing something really cool. Oh well, damned if you do damned if you don’t — maybe next time around.
MACNA is a great show and definitely has plenty of mystique and tradition but if you haven’t had a chance to get out to this event, make sure you look into local and regional events. There are a solid variety of regional events that get plenty of manufacturer and vendor support along with some of the same great speakers you’ll see at MACNA. Whatever you do, just get out and get involved more with the crazy, passionate people in this great hobby (just like yourself) that attend these shows no matter where or when they are happening.
There are some incredible things taking shape in the hobby and it’s a fun and exciting time to be involved. Reef Builders will have plenty of great posts filtering in over the next week or so on a ton of cool things we had a chance to see at the show. We’ll all be heading back to our respective corners of the country, getting caught up on some much needed rest and enjoying the rest of this long weekend. Look for some great posts and we appreciate all your interest and support making our jobs even more rewarding! Get out and get involved and remember, the future is now!