A couple of weeks ago I attended the Columbus Home and Garden show and got a chance to attend the VIP meet & greet with Pete Nelson from Treehouse Masters. If you ever have a chance to meet Pete, do it! He is every bit as funny and personable as he seems on TV. I’ve been to quite a few meet and greets and his was by far the best.
Me and Pete Nelson
A lot of meet & greets consist of the celebrity standing in front of the group and telling a couple of cute, personal stories, then the crowd files past for a quick hello and a selfie. Pete did things very differently. He started at one end of the room and worked his way through stopping to introduce himself to each person, making a bit of small talk, answering questions, and giving hugs. After he had spoken to every single person in the room he posed for pictures with everyone who wanted one. There was even a professional photographer on hand to snap the photos.
Pete Nelson working the room during the meet & greet
My favorite story from the day came from the table next to mine. A family with a college-age son had driven from Long Island to Columbus specifically to meet Pete. The son is an architecture student and a big Treehouse Masters fan. Pete took extra time with them and even looked through the son’s portfolio. The photo he signed for the son was personalized with “Hope we work together someday”.
My own encounter with Pete was fun. He asked where I was originally from (darn it, my Texas accent gives me away every time), then talked about some treehouses he had built in the Texas Hill Country. Afterward, when it was my turn to get my picture made he called me by name! After all the people he met that day he not only remembered my name, but pronounced it correctly! I seriously became a fan for life, right on the spot!
Don't recall what my table-mate asked, but it looks like I found it shocking!
After the meet and greet was over he had a presentation for all show attendees. I went to that as well and it was great. He talked about how he got into the treehouse business, shared pictures of various projects, and talked about the structural engineering aspect of building in a tree (ie, how to make it secure and safe without harming the trees). I have to admit, the first time I watched the show I was a little concerned when they started drilling into a tree (yep, I’m a tree hugger), but after hearing him talk I understand how deeply he cares about protecting the trees.
Talking about how he got into the treehouse business
Another great part of the presentation is that he told everyone all about his new friend, the architecture student from Long Island. That young man was already walking on air after the meet & greet, but after the public shout out he was absolutely glowing with happiness. That is definitely a day he will never forget.
Discussing how treehouses are attached to trees
If you ever get a change to meet Pete Nelson, jump at it. Even if you have never seen the show Pete will absolutely charm you.
Have a Semi-Perfect day!