Fairs are important.
One once said to me: “Fairs are like buoys when you compete in a regatta: you don’t know who’s ahead and who’s behind, until you turn around the buoy: when you are there, then you can see it… everyone can see it”.
I don’t know if he believed this when he said it to me, I think so.Anyway, I was a promising young man and he told me what he had to say.
I lived fairs with this attitude, one after another, for years.
Now, after a thousand fairs, I have some doubts, but despite everything I don’t give up.
Every time I hesitate, I renounce, but then I don’t give up.
Fairs are important because they keep a lot of money moving, and as long as the money moves it’s good for everyone.
Fairs are important for everyone involved in the exhibitions: small companies show themselves to the world demonstrating their existence, big companies are confirmed as the biggest, old companies give themselves a makeover to pretend they are still there.
Fairs are important for the visitors, that go there and come back feeling updated, even if they know that they just saw little curiosities: real updates are made while sitting at the table, with an appointment.
Fairs are very important, especially for the guys at the stands, the ones from the sales department, and the few, precious, technical specialists.
They are important because they see the company, they see their colleagues outside the usual context, and they see their bosses that, in those circumstances, are not just their bosses, but just more experienced colleagues.
In these occasions, you can clearly see the buoy.
Who turns around the buoy first is not the company with the most shimmering product, or who has the biggest stand or the best pastries.
You feel who is ahead in the moment you pass through their stand, you slow down to understand better, feel the enthusiasm of the staff, even the ones at the welcoming point, with all the catalogues under the counter. You feel the confidence of the technical professional while he explains, and he knows, deeply, that this is his moment, also the sales manager tells you a story, not with the same words as always, but he is telling you they may be about to win the championship.
That is the reason why, after a thousand fairs, at the end you go.
And there are many other things I could say, but now I must go, because there is already the next fair to set up.It takes a lot of time to set up a fair, and a lot of money.