I believe it was in 2008, and I was in an IAEE training class, just walking in, just sitting down. I had already attended one previous class and I thought they were “Good” so I had medium level of expectations. Certain topics are more interesting than others, not that I am cutting down IAEE. This class had, as most do, about 25 attendees, some dressed casually, some more professionally, some people nervous, some disinterested, some with their best sales look of confidence through smiling.
This bald man came out to present but his voice wasn’t so good. He had another teacher in training with him, who attempted to go through information while the bald man could be heard in the back hallway hacking out loud, and struggling to gain his footing. Yes, you could say my first impression of Bob Dallmyer was a man who badly needed a glass of water! He later explained that he had taken some vitamins, and one went down the “Wrong Pipe” and it was taking quite a while to break down.
The second half of the class was all Bob. Passionate, informative, gracious, respectful, and always willing to listen- he owned us all, particularly me. I was in a class now with marginal interest, but because of Bob’s passion, I was now very interested. He could have made me excited about working in a toothpick factory! AND I don’t think it was the vitamins, it was just typical Bob as I was soon to learn.
Now, I am not that unique. I try to take good things from people who inspire me, and remember the bad ones and try not to repeat. I try to shape myself into a better person so that I should be the better as time goes on. It’s hard for me to imagine Bob Dallmeyer being any better than any time I ever encountered him.
He surprised me with e mail correspondence post class saying how nice it was to meet me, and asking me more about the unique shows I run. I would run into him at Expo Expo each year and always he had a few minutes to say hi, and ask me how my business was. He was always interested. I was in Las Vegas in 2010, prior to my last CEM course. I had a site inspection the night before, and an early class that I was trying to prepare myself for in the hotel restaurant. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see his smiling face and a warm greeting. He was there to teach a class, unfortunately not mine. Bob said “Looks like you are reading up on your class- put it away, you don’t need it. You’ll be fine” We ended up having breakfast together and catching up on his business and mine. AND later that day I successfully completed my final course and became a CEM, which I remain proud of.
I always felt like he was more interested in my business knowing that he and I really wouldn’t ever have a chance to partner on anything, at least seemingly. He wasn’t a sales guy, he just wanted to learn more about a sector he wasn’t familiar with (Robot Shows) and would ask about basic labor issues, and site issues with the venues I was working in. Of course he wanted to know about the exhibitors. He had a lot of extensive international experience, and wanted to know more about mine, which pales in comparison, but always wanted to stay up on what was going on where. When he went to Brussels and was part of an opening of a convention center there, he once sent me an e mail and asked my opinion regarding……something…..it didn’t matter and doesn’t matter. Bob Dallmeyer was asking me??!?!?! He has been published many times, and you can tell from a sentence that he knows more than I do in 2 paragraphs.
I just learned that Bob passed away recently. I can’t state that Bob and I were close, because we weren’t. You don’t have to be close to have had an impact on someone. I sit today realizing the positive impact he had on me and I wonder- how many others feel the same way about Bob that I do today? I hope that someday, people will feel similar about me. I will always remember Bob and hope that his example of graciousness and knowledge will be exhibited by me as I advance on in the industry and have an opportunity to impact younger generations. Thank you for your inspiration Bob!