The last weekend, I was working at an audio trade show called T.H.E. Show Newport Beach. I have never been to this particular audiophile show, having only experience at a smaller venue called The California Audio Show, and this year I only went because there was budget enough to run a merchandise booth.
I wish I could say that I enjoyed the weekend and took a lot of pictures, but as I was managing a booth with one other person and myself I had little time for myself, not even enough time to explore the other vendors of the show (I was not even in the same area as the other main exhibitors because of lack of budget, but stuck running my small suite as a showroom too with no other vendors on the same floor).
It was long, tiring, and would not do it again if I was this much under-manned.
Convention/Trade Show Experience
I have been no stranger to working at and for trade shows and conventions, having around five years working as staff for Anime Expo, as well as another 5 years for Pacific Media Expo. I have previously worked twice for this same company at The California Audio Show, as well as in 2014 for the same company at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), so I am no convention newbie and know the planning, energy, and patience needed for shows like these.
But this one really mentally and emotionally exhausted me. Running a merchandise booth practically by myself and a coworker who is not up-to-speed in understanding of the business and no-fault to him, but for an undermanned team I needed someone who is caught up on the audiophile business to answer questions properly.
I also had to run a “merch desk” a couple of times in the main lobby where the company artists performed. Coupled with having a stomach flu during setup days and making free goody bags on the fly while managing a room/booth, the situation was more than I could bear.
As I am an introvert I have a certain limit that I kept holding in for the sake of the company. But after this show I am not doing a retail booth if I will be practically alone. I can complain more about the fine details that irked me to no end but I do not want to go further than that. On another note, I have no complaints against the patrons and customers, but I do on the short-sighted planning and lack of support from my job.
Luckily for recovery I have about three days off from work, using two days to spend time with mom before heading back home, and the last one resting and writing this seriously belated post. I also am catching up to this season’s anime shows and reading How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life by Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert, highly recommended).
I realized that I had more fun at the Anime-themed conventions than the Audiophile shows, in that there were more people to relate to and I felt more comfortable. I love music and audio, I also love anime and video games. Combining the two fields was the reason this site is running. But I realized I am not meant for going really deep into the Audiophile world, both as a consumer and as a part of the industry.
My energy can be used to for other purposes, and I honestly feel that staying here will not help my dreams and goals. I really want to go back to composing and remixing, and not constantly check my email for the littlest work things that I HAVE to answer (not that I want to answer, but I am forced to answer).
I want to continue this site and make friends with other Anime & Video Game Music Fans and focus more. I want to not work for someone else on the weekends without appropriate pay for the work I do and then some.
So on with my journey, as I try a new city and see where that leads me.
(This post was originally posted on June 4, 2015)