CeBIT Time

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!

Simon Jones – Managing Director, OnPR

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