Originally I titled this piece “Eating My Way Through Nuremberg Toy Fair”, but it is much more than just about the wonderful food. We’ve all attended many trade shows and there are none in our industry that compare with the Nuremberg Toy Fair’s hospitable exhibitors. At times it feels and tastes like a epicurean food fair. While sipping espresso and savoring fresh parmesan and chocolate from Italy in the Modiano stand, Isabel Serpa from Modiano explained it this way, “This is a public relations fair where you can find partners. People will tell others about you and the business will come later.” For the record, I have not done business with Modiano and wasn’t talking to them about business. Within 15 minutes of chatting with Isabel, I wished I lived closer to her as I could see sharing a cup of espresso with her on a daily basis. And, I did give her card to someone later that day.
Designer Carlos Bonnet of X-Swing Europe said, “Over here we first build on our relationships with the potential buyer and much later we will actual do the business. In the Netherlands it’s called “de kat uit de boom kijken” which means in English: “To see which way the wind blows” (or something like that). If the mindset, from the potential buyer, is good and you as a person is very likeable then it’s all good and you can do business with each other.”
For those of you who do not attend the Nuremberg Fair, I thought I might share some of the tastier bits of hospitality. All the booths I visited were welcoming and all offered something to eat and/or drink, but there are standouts. One of my favorites every year is the Ravensburger booth with many selections to choose in an area that is the size of a small café. Although everything looks delicious, their Schokokuss, a chocolate-coated marshmallow treat, is something I could become diabetic over in a short period of time if they were available in the Chicago area. Please don’t tell me if they are. This treat has a very interesting history and many countries claim to have invented it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate-coated_marshmallow_treats Yes, that’s me in the pictures eating my second one with Frank Mueller, Ravensburger’s Innovation Manager. A few days later Tanya Thompson from ThinkFun and Pal Keller from Mindtwister joined me at the Ravensburger booth. Yes, competitors are treated royally as well! (Picture of Tanya and Pal at end of article.)