Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day Four -- Tear Down

After the sparkling beauty of a trade show, tear down is a bit like carnage. Seconds after (and sometimes before) the end of the trade show, out come the boxes, packing tape and little tool boxes marked “SHOW BOOTH.” Within minutes the booths are unrecognizable as such…people who do long trade shows are anxious to get out quickly.

I don’t blame them. As a retailer I am free to walk out anytime I want with nothing more than a brief case full of catalogs and pricelists. These poor souls must tear down their entire booth structure, pack up all the product, and ship it off to the next place. Oftimes that next show is a week later.

It's always amazing to see dozens of plain white trailers waiting for the tons of boxes and crates that are going to storage until the next show. Most of the larger manufacturers have show booths that are stored except for a few days a year. It's pretty amazing.

Sometimes I’ll stick around and help a smaller manufacturer who is short on help. We helped Hurricane Aquasports tear down since they had a good number of boats to move and only a few helpers. We had it down in less than 90 minutes, a record I think.

Made some new friends, reinforced some existing ones, and saw some great new product. I had a great breakfast with Nathan, the new paddlesports buyer for REI. Great guy, and he had a lot of nice things to say about Rutabaga.

Until January,


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