I was late… really, really late this time. My flight from Columbus started off just fine but a unwelcome surprise in Phoenix derailed the trip pretty quick. “We regret to inform you that your flight to Long Beach has been canceled” is NEVER the text you want to recieve while sitting in the airport… CRAP. Turns out that the airline had proactively re-booked me on another flight… YAY! …But the flight was going to drop me off at a different airport. An airport an hour away from the convention center… CRAP again!
Still, after catching the new flight and grabbing an Uber driver willing to get me up the coast to Long Beach, I can make this work. Forget checking in to the AirBNB and who cares that I was carting all my luggage and camera gear. I told the driver to just drop me in front of the convention hall and let me jump out. I finally arrived at WRAPSCON 2019!
From the second I stepped on the floor I felt I was home. I honestly know that I am one of the most fortunate people in the world to able to earn a living in the wrap industry. As I am fond of saying, this is the only industry where people pay us to color and play with cars. We have amazing designers. We have super cool projects. We have brilliant tools and gadgets to work with. We have the best people in the world. We have #wrapfamily.
For those of who missed WRAPSCON this year you missed some great stuff. Ruggs Kochevear and his amazing NBM team spent an entire year putting together a concentrated wrap experience for us. Where else are you going to see industry greats doing demonstrations in practically every booth? Where else are going to get Justin Pate and The Wrap Institute team giving talks and allowing anyone to try all the different films? The 3M booth was hustling alongside the KPMF, Orafol and Teckwrap teams. Hexis was running their super popular Wrap battle panels. Famous faces wrapping right in front of you from all over the world. Every single one of them willing to chat, show off a tool or discuss a technique… so cool.
Finally, let’s certainly not forget this year’s Wrap Olympics! A two-person team rolling head-to-head against another one. This unique competition format has the wrappers moving from cars to rough texture walls. Wrapping odd and difficult objects (a bowling ball AND pin this year). Live designing projects and working together to implement the film installation. We had some great teams from all over North America as well as Europe and Asia. The final winners by judges decision was the team “Aloha Hillbillies” made up of Shane Oliberos (Xero Wraps) and Charlie Trujillo (Lettering Express) who took home a massive amount of prizes.
As in year’s past the Wrap Olympic’s judging team was made up of Starla Miller (Miller Decals), Jen Carney (Carbon Wraps), Luis Tirado (WBC Graphics / BladeCage) and Keith Savage (Savage Wraps) and Adam Sumner (Wrapix Imaging) with the whole event MC’ed by everybody’s favorite bayou boy Kevin Kempf (PG Nola). A virtual ton of wrap industry knowledge and expertise in this group for sure.
So, late arrival aside, this year’s WRAPSCON was an event to remember and one you should NOT miss next year!