It’s early March, the daffodils are trying to push through the snow, and the cold winds are ripping across the north German countryside. That can mean only one thing: it’s CeBIT time again!
This year once again the show runs pretty much back-to-back with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and a hardcore few people end up doing both shows. As I blogged last year, the contrast is tremendous.
As I was packing my suitcase here in Barcelona, I started thinking about some favorite memories of CeBITs past – and preparing for what’s to come. Here’s a few reminiscences:
* The entire 30-or-so staff of the Singapore Pavilion rushing outside for an impromptu snowball fight – in full business garb – after a sudden snow flurry. Some of them said they’d never ever seen snow before
* The mysterious lack of visitors to the US Pavilion the day after an exhibitor reception where sauerkraut featured large on the menu
* German Chancellor Angela Merkel dropping a Fujitsu tablet in front of the world’s press, as it came out of a fish tank to prove it was waterproof – then quipping “just doing a second check”
* The Münchner Halle (an Löwenbrau beer hall on the Hanover Messe showground) looking and feeling like the real Oktoberfest – except that most people are in suits
* One of the UK’s hardier journalists driving up to Hanover in his van and spending the entire week camping out in the car park …
* Asking a journalist for her personal absolute highlight of that year’s CeBIT – and her proceeding to tell me about one of my clients
* Spending all day in (relatively-speaking) plush meeting rooms on the roof of Hall One, without needing to go downstairs and tackle the madding crowd
And some of the downsides:
* My feet hurt! One year I wore a pedometer and was clocking up 20km plus a day walking back and forth around the show
* Spending all day in back-to-back briefings on a hot and noisy booth in (the now closed) Hall One, where the ceiling was low and the air was thick
* Talking to a Chinese exhibitor about PR, with him nodding and agreeing enthusiastically all the way through the discussion, before asking me how many units I wanted to order
Once again in 2013, OnPR will have a team (myself, Manuela Goller and Darina Gugleva) on the ground at CeBIT – so if you’d like to hear more about our trade show experiences, and maybe share some of your own, please get in touch!