Attendees of the recent Dealer Conference for Jacuzzi Hot Tubs and Sundance Spas in Panama City, Panama, were treated to a special keynote speaker: Buzz Aldrin, former American astronaut and the second human being to walk on the moon.
Those who attended the conference were not told beforehand about Aldrin’s appearance at the event. Show organizers managed to keep the keynote address a surprise.
“After we identified Dr. Aldrin as a potential speaker, we agreed to keep his participation a secret to build excitement,” says Patrick Williams, senior director of marketing for Jacuzzi brands. “[There was] some nervousness that we could keep him a secret.”
Aldrin’s appearance fit in with the event’s theme: Unlocking Possibilities — Engage, Explore, Excel. “What better way to emphasize possibility than by having the conference set against the backdrop of the Panama Canal, which was built on the promise of possibility, and closing with Dr. Aldrin, who embodies the audacity of the 20th century space race,” said Williams.
Aldrin’s keynote address was well received by the conference attendees. “He’s remarkable,” said Brian Quint, president of Aqua Quip in Seattle. “I haven’t really hung out with a lot of people that have walked on the moon before.”
Aldrin spoke about his experience in space exploration as well as lower periods in his life, including a battle with alcoholism and finding new life challenges after achieving his dreams at such a young age, said Quit.
“When you learn his story, it was just so engaging and compelling and it gave you the desire to excel,” said Quit. “It was an amazing speaker for Jacuzzi to have presented us.”