I have a love-hate relationship with business travel; I suppose most of us do. On the one hand, it is so worth the excitement; it is full of interest and adventure, meeting great people, visiting new places. But so often it is fraught with hassles, serious schlepping and exhaustion.
The sum total of my trip to Paperworld in Frankfurt last week was that it was worth every ounce of that “other hand”. Visiting shows outside the US plays an important role in shaping my strategic vision for NSS. And, it is the most effective way to observe worldwide trends and attract companies from all over the world to exhibit in America – and I discovered many terrific, awe-inspiring products that will find their way to NSS either in 2008 or 2009 – I’m sure of it!
It was so affirming to know of the NSS’ global notoriety. My many conversations with buyers and exhibitors from Italy, India, Thailand, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Japan, Nepal, Spain, the Czech Republic, Australia, Brazil – reinforced that NSS is held in extremely high esteem across the globe!
The Messe Frankfurt facility is one enormous and impressive venue. Here’s a picture of the City Entrance and the portal to the 10 multi-floor buildings housed within the complex.
Thank goodness for the shuttles that connect the buildings; each day my pedometer clocked more than 8 miles (in heels, of course). I spent my time in buildings 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 (1, 2, 7, 8 & 9 housed shows for beauty and trim-a-tree)
Because the facility is owned by the organizers, the time in between events can be weeks or even months. I say this to help you visualize exhibits that are true works of construction – and art. The move-in period for the show is 3 weeks! Most shows in the U.S. have a maximum move-in of 4 days.
Here are a few shots of the exhibit floors and of friends from companies many of you will know.
Calligraphy demonstration in the Art Supplies hall
Part of the trend presentation in the Social Stationery hall, featuring "kiddie" as they named it, products
Paula and Kyle Skene, with their German friend Heidi from a booth across from them
The men behind the gorgeous Xylem products
The Turnowsky sales team, taking a much-needed sit down
Me, after a long day of travel, and Yair Greenberg, owner of Yafa Fine Writing Instruments
Two of the owners of Delta Fine Writing Instruments at the wonderful Yafa dinner party
The Israeli export sales executive from Yafa receiving his salesman of the year award
So, I’m behind the desk for a few days corresponding with the hundreds of people I met (well, almost), then I’ll bid Kelly adieu as she departs for the Spring Fair in Birmingham and I leave for another round of travel, this time, domestically. It’s hard on the bod, but boy do I love the action!