Miles away from the UK I am seeing posts from ex colleagues and friends from Spring Fair and Ambiente. I have a slight twinge of jealousy but only because they brings back happy memories.
I started my journey with Spring Fair in 1989 and Ambiente in 1999.This will be the first year since then that I have not attended in some guise. I may be unusual in the fact that I actually relished the shows.It is a wonderful opportunity to show your wares in the best light possible – and with the money being spent on the stands you’d better make it work. It is also a chance to meet and reconnect with old friends, colleagues and business partners. No better opportunity than these shows to catch up with the industry barometer. It is also the time to brush up on your air kissing skills.
Some basics for shows -the show haircut and the show suit/dress. See how many you can spot! And don’t forget the sensible shoes and the Barocca. It’s about survival and unfortunately sometimes being sensible seems to be long forgotten.
Spring Fair would always mean consecutive nights out in Birmingham and the body progressively screaming for sleep. But no matter what, a day on the stand meant looking alert and behaving professionally. The food experience is best forgotten unless you are one of those that brought a packed lunch – yes I have seen this. And please tell me I am not the only one who has lost her car in that NEC car park. And then on a rare occasion the weather would cause mayhem but it would all be forgotten as the circus moved to Frankfurt.
You knew it was show time as you looked around the plane and clocked familiar faces and it certainly wasn’t a wedding party.It’s advisable to keep quiet during that short journey.
Ambiente provides the opportunity for buyers and sellers to come together from around the globe. There’s a definite buzz and a cacophony of different languages along the aisles. Love the visits on the stands from the most enthusiastic buyers who will spend hours and then ask for a price for 24pcs. Hours of waiting for that one meeting that makes it all worthwhile 😉. Patience is a skill that is needed in good amounts. Oh and those long pointless chats with your colleagues to fill the gaps. I know you like them but by day 5 enough is enough and home beckons.
As a vegetarian in Frankfurt I learnt to love cream cheese and cucumber. But GreenPan upped the stakes on the food front. I discovered that at Spring Fair when the show closes it closes – at Ambiente it’s the time to open the beers and nuts. And nights in Frankfurt during show time would not be complete without a night at a curry house and another at the Irish Bar and definitely one where I would watch others eat hunks of meat!!🤦🏽♀️
All that said it’s about getting those listings for the exhibitors and finding that next big thing for the buyers … before your rival!!!
Good luck to all those … hard core show attendees flitting from Birmingham to Frankfurt to Chicago.