In this harrowing tale of survival, one woman* reveals her emotional transformation during four days in Imigrantes Pavilion Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
* The source has requested that her name not be used to protect her job.
First Night: Monstrosity - This sprawling conference center is intimidating! Where are the bathrooms, the electrical outlets? Can I get a wireless connection? Are people smoking inside?
Day 1: Concrete Jungle - It still feels overwhelming, but now I know where the bathrooms and outlets are. Bonus: perfect wireless connection!
Day 2: Workplace Playground - I am friendly with the guards at the entry, have located the press room and found a few quiet spaces. I know my way to the lunch and dinner area, have located my favorite booths at the expo and know to sit far away from the booming sound system.
Days 3-4: Home, Sweet, Home - I have memorized the names of all the conference rooms. I know the bathroom attendants on the first and second floors. I don't smell the smoke anymore. I am ready to conquer new turf! I boldly venture to unknown parts of the Expo Center to explore the even larger Adventure Sports Fair! I am an adventure writer after all!
To those of you who make your living attending trade shows, I salute you.