The participant of a maritime exhibition – be it a manufacturer, a charter or a company offering a booking management system – usually needs a lot of preparation before the show takes place: booking a stand, ordering the structure and furniture of the booth, producing marketing materials, arranging travel and accommodation for the staff. It is always complicated, tiring and wearisome, yet always joyful as we can always celebrate together on these occasions with other sailing lovers.
How was this year’s ICE? Due to the current situation, it was completely different from the previous ones: digital. For many participants this was perhaps the first time in their lives that they attended an online meeting. After all, seadogs were created for riding sea waves and not the waves of the internet…
Participating on the exhibition required surprisingly little work. We designed the look of our digital booth, we edited our flyer, took part in a microphone test… and we were ready.
On the big day, we sat excitedly in front of the new Handshake app to attend our first meeting. But then came the first pitfall: the system did not allow us to log in. Never mind, we were not giving it up, we got in touch with the support of the expo on all possible platforms and after only three hours and five missed and/or rescheduled meetings, we could finally log in the system.
We were amazed by the look of all the halls and booths, it totally felt like being there in person, walking around, looking at the flyers of the different exhibitors.
Of course, thanks to the wonders (and speed) of the internet, not all conversations went easily and we often could read from the face of our conversation partner that they were just trying to lip-read. Fortunately, this was less common; in the vast of majority of the cases the connection was excellent.
The most interesting things, of course, always take place behind the scenes. The partner sitting on the other side of the camera can rarely see the piled up chocolate papers and empty coffee cups on our desks (and lucky for them, we aren’t able to tell if they wear trousers or pajama bottoms). Moreover, most of the time they do not even notice when our playful colleagues are trying to entertain and distract us from the background. Well, our colleague once failed to put on a poker face, so we would like to apologize for that again.
All in all, we can say that the expo was really successful. We’ve met a lot of great people and we expect to have a lot of successful business relationships, thanks to the expo.
Were there difficulties during the exhibition? Sure enough. Will we be there next time as well? Absolutely!
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