Back on the road after a week of city rush. 4 days in Hartford, CT for a trade show, 2 days in Boston networking and connecting, and now in the car again with some time to let it all sink in.
The Trade Show.
A bizarre parallel life where a seemingly random group of people from all over the country and abroad pack their trade show bag, put on their trade show threads, stretch a sleepy smile every morning and sell their "must have/fabulous" product. This happens with great frequency and you start assuming your place in this nomadic community. Then comes the assimilation process. You buy your tiny lot in the massive carpeted maze, you own it for a few days, you build your transient castle as showy and flashy as can be, you hope to get good neighbors and you get 3 seconds to impress.
The buyers trickle in throughout the day. You see them approaching from down the hall, they get closer and enter "your zone" (10 feet of hallway in front of you). Now they could see you if only they would look your way, but you just get the five steps they take while traversing your zone before the exit. Step one… step two… are they going to see us? Telepathic attempts, silently shouting, turn this way! Here! To the left! We have what you are looking for! HELLOOOOO! All this, while maintaining a catatonic smile and a cool persona. Step three… step four…they are going to miss us! You finally defer to auditory sound: "Hi there! Are you enjoying the show? Have you seen our designs before?" You give them "your best line". The one you carefully molded to stand out from everyone else’s. You walk the tightrope, trying to engage but not be pushy, you start injecting the essentials of your "pitch" disguised within casual chatter. But guess what? They’ve heard it all a million times. Lucky for us, we are proud creators of a product we love and hope this passion portrays a less pitchy tone.
What are an artist and a mathematician doing here anyway?
During quiet times you start dissecting your surroundings. That guy has been writing orders all day, what’s his secret? You see your booth, you see his. You start adjusting your product, an inch to the right, an inch to the left, two degrees clockwise, you adjust your clothes, a mint, a sip of water, one more degree will catch the light better. Maybe I’ll switch this necklace for that other one, or maybe I’ll stand here instead… a neurotic ritual in hopes of catching your big fish. But, who’s fishing whom?
A game it is, a huge gamble, luck and the right timing. Admittedly not our favorite, but an essential part of growing our business, and it can also be fun and rewarding. You build friendships, get inspired, learn and get many genuine human interactions that redeem this crazy board game.
Like these guys from the Denver Art Museum!
Trade Shows have been great for Alucik, and we are grateful for all the wonderful buyers that have invested in our designs.
Next one: Vegas in May.
(Photos below: Hartford, CT and Boston.)
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