Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trade Show and Tequila

As per the conversation with the BizP my job was to walk and observe. Starting with aisle A, I did just that. I walked.

And I walked.

And I walked.

And I walked.

I tried to take it all in: the massive press of bodies and people, the networking going on left and right and front and behind, the crush of bodies,  and over all of it the overwhelming numbers of books upon books upon books. I learned that some books were only dummies, some where real, and some were for sale. The BizP imparted a nugget of wisdom at the last minute before we parted ways.

“This is a trade show. Nothing is for sale, so don’t try to buy anything.”

My reaction could have been better. I didn’t know the first thing about what a trade show was, not to mention how exactly to work effectively at a trade show; however, what I knew at that moment was walk, look, and collect catalogs, which was exactly what I did for the next four hours.

I met the BizP for lunch and gave a breakdown of what I had accomplished. I felt pretty unsuccessful; I had seen a lot of books, but between the flight and the less than three hours of sleep I didn’t feel like I was being very successful. It was decided to leave hall eight  and hit hall three, where all the children’s stuff was, since my real reason for being there was to get materials for a new part of our business venture.

So we went to hall three. Which was a lot like hall eight. Except bigger.

Much, much bigger.

After two hours of walking in hall three, combined with four hours of walking in hall, I was about ready to call it, so we went back to the BizP’s IbizP’s booth. There we sat and were entertained by a Sir who asked for, almost as soon as I sat down, a bottle of tequila. It was then that I noticed the very well-stocked bar that lived in the corner of the IbizP’s booth. It had everything, all of it top shelf and ready to be served. At four I received my first shot of tequila, and feeling that I should be polite and accommodating I did not say no to the second, or the third, and I realized as I got five in that it was really time I should stop.

“I don’t want to have too much,” I said to the IbizP as he poured another round.

“Not so much, these are very small glasses.”

What can you say to that except but to smile and have another? Tequila turned to whisky and eventually to Chivas, which was apparently the bottle of choice. (There were at least two bottles of Chivas for every night at the book fair.) It wasn’t just our booth drinking either. Basically at four o'clock the book fair turned into a bar and everyone was having happy hour. It paid not to drink alone.

While boozing was good, I was getting antsy. I had been in Germany for almost 24 hours and had so far seen a Korean restaurant, a gas station, and the convention center, which was basically McCormick place on steroids. I was ready for more adventure, although I was also really drunk and had sore feet. With all that going on, I decided it was time to press onward and upward, get out and explore Frankfurt a little bit.

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