Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????

Trade show Uruguayan style

Posted by urufish on October 20, 2007

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Went to the Feria de Construccion yesterday evening.  I thought this was like our ‘home shows’ back up north.  Wrong.  It seems targeted to professionals in the construction industry–not to the consumer. 

We spent about an hour there nonetheless, soaking up as much information as we could.  When you’re in a new country, everything, regardless how seemingly unimportant it is, adds to that tapestry you’re weaving upstairs. 

A lot of floor space is dedicated to paints.  We saw a lot of world class equipment there.  Some of it very, very expensive.  This tells me that just because I have never personally seen this high end stuff being used here, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exit here.  This tells me that next time we need something that I would have thought isn’t avaialble here, we’ll try harder to locate a company with it. 

The thing that struck me most about this show was the aisles.  I spent my business life doing 12-15 tradeshows a year.  Some I worked at and others I visited.  I visited shows in Canada, the US and Europe.  None were like this one.  The aisles are set up so you follow a specific path, from beginning to end. 

After years of being able to roam freely, having to discipline myself to remember where I was so I wouldn’t miss something, I found this structure real smart.  It’s virtually impossible to miss a booth.  Even if you wander into booths, they’re designed to bring you right back on track. 

And another thing that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.  There was a cantombe group, drumming and dancing their way, tortuga style, through the booths, winding their way around displays, like a snake.   I’m used to the girls dressed in skimpy costumes whenever I’ve seen this, but this is a trade show, so they were dressed up top in logo’d t-shirts, like Home Depot.   Can you imagine that kind of noise winding it’s way through trade show booths, where salespeople supposedly are trying to sell to customers.  In North America, this would be unheard of.  But here, everyone stops what they’re doing for 10-15 minutes, until the noise gets far enough away, and simply enjoys it.  There were even customers who followed this troop around, behind them, taking in the booths.  Definitely, a cultural thing. 

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