Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Tale of Four Days....

So what you would do when you can't make it to the Oracle Open World?  No you wont organize your own open world but if there is an exhibition being hosted in your city for the first time and you have got a chance to be a part of it as an exhibitor , I guess one must try it out.  So that's what happened with me when my friend Mwho asked me to come and be a part of his stall in this year's industrial fair organized by Tender World and Punjab Auto Show.   It was organized in Delhi up til now and this was the very first time when it has been organized in Punjab.Big event, I must tell you!
So the exhibition had to start on 28th October.  Usually when you are an exhibitor, you have to make sure that all the flexes, broachers and pamphlets and all this kind of stuff must be ready at least 1 day prior to the main event so that you can just go arrange it.Hmm well it wasn't the case when it came to M.Sadly we or I must say, M was not as organized as he should be for this event.  You can imagine from this only that on the very first day when the exhibition had to start at 10.30am, we got at the venue only at about 12:00am.When others had already done everything and were ready to welcome the visitors, we were still arranging our laptops , broachers and to some extents, ourselves too. For one moment, I just thought it was going to be a "flop show" but thanks to K( senior most developer and analyst in M's firm), we did manage to get ourselves on the right track in a very short period. We didn't see much hustle and bustle in the starting of the day.  There were some visitors who were really interested and showed keen interest in our ERP product, some who just came for fun and some who just stopped by, asked for our visiting cards and left.  So what we did the most in the first half of the day?Well we took the snaps of us and also the stall next to us,Pacific Securities , which were displaying a very unique kind of fire extinguishers,in the shape of a volley-ball!Yeah a ball which will blast when there will be fire and will settle it down.  I must say that all the stalls that I saw in the exhibition, Pacific people managed to decorate and arrange their stall in the best manner!And everyone who would pass by from them, definitely they would stop and look at the ball thinking,Hmm what it is and they will enquire!Very nice!This is one of the snaps that we took on the first day of the exhibition having me and K in it :
Day 1 Pic
We kicked off second day with  much better planning than our first day and me and K were there at appropriate time to set our stuff and get ready for the upcoming visitors. We saw a huge rush on the second day.  It could be coz it was Sunday and moreover, due to adverts, hoardings, which were flashing in the whole city and India as well, there were a lot of people turning up! I met very smart and nice fellows from Feast Software, IIT Pawai who are in the designing of engineering and simulation solutions.  Very nice guys and I must say, really smart too!We had a good time with them, shared ideas, exchanged our cards, it is always a fun to be with some nice and intelligent people.  I met one more very nice and intelligent fellow, Fan who came from China and is a design engineer in Wind King, next generation cooling solutions for homes and offices.  Very nice guy!Coz it was Sunday, my sister Gunjan, K's brother and sister, Vishal and Bharti , her collegue Manoj and one of my very good friends, S called up to say that they are coming as well."The more, the merrier".Well Scame at the first place.  What should I say now what he was doing?Holding his digital camera, roaming around everywhere and getting snaps of anything/everything he liked(even disliked), he was really having a gala time there. A very funny incident happened when we had to have our lunch.S, me and K, we left lunch in the city and pre-planned to stop at a place.  Sadly, we couldn't find it :-( as none of us visited there before.  Anyways, when you are at Punjab ,one thing about which you never have to worry about is food.  So K said that we all must go to a restaurant which is a very popular and a reasonable price eating joint.  But Ssaid, we all must go to Yellow Chilly which is very much better than Gyan's.No doubt, I knew that it is better than mostly any of the eating joints around but there is only one catch in the story that its very much costly too.  But S assured us that he had tried it out somewhere else and he found it surprisingly nearly the same as Gyan's.Same!Alrite if the price is same  than we can definitely go and check it out.  So we got at Yellow Chilly.No doubt the place was very nice and well decorated.Staff was very friendly too.  Everything seems ok, time to check the menu card!When we flipped the first page of it, we came to know that we must had never listened to S at the very first place itself. Price was not only high but it was almost touching the stars!So what to do now? Well if you know me( even if you don't know me than too you will come to know just in a while :-) ), its not in my nature to come out from a situation like this by just having water and saying sorry. So I decided that we are going to have our lunch there only.  I did scold S so much though.  I gave him a condition that he would get his life back only when we will order our food and it would be tasty.  Finally food came without much time delay and it was really nice.  Well we all came out smiling and S is still alive :-). So you want to see the hero of this short story?Glad you asked.  Here he is in a very dramatic moment when he had a raw onion without any garlic or so, must tell you that he was in much bad condition than he is looking here :
50 50!!!!
So after having a heavy and tasty lunch, we got back to the exhibition.By the time we were there, entire gang was there to welcome us. As it was Sunday and except us, they all were free, for the time they were there, they made the whole event an "all play and no work".So there was so much of photo shoots, roaming around, leg pullings, in short, all play :-).Here is a pic of all of us together :
Moment Captured in a Snapshot
After all this photo shoot, Gunjan and gang left for some shopping in the market as the exhibition was a little boring for them.S, M, his wife J , K and me were left standing on the stall.  We got a lot of visitors on second day.  There was a huge and positive response from the visitors in our software solutions.  As I am not from marketing team, but marketing is something which always fascinates me, it was a very nice experience to handle enquiries and make potential customers. If time and circumstances will allow, I would definitely try my hands in it too.  Well in all this, we ended our second day at the exhibition.
On third day, I just went to the event in the morning and for some time in the evening.  I had some personal things to sort out so I had to take care of those firstly.  I missed the fun as I was told in the evening that on the third day, the number of visitors and the level of enquiries was far far better than the last 2 days .Though I missed the fun and chance to interact and face more people, still I was happy that there was a good response from the crowd  not only just for us only but for all  the exhibitors as well.
Yesterday was the fourth and last day of the exhibition. We were told in the morning only that coz of it being the last day, exhibition closing timings were 5pm.The day was ok with again some good potential customers moving around.  One guy from Delhi, Pankaj stopped by and took great interest in our products and becoming our business partener.  I did the initial talks and it went off very well.  It was a pure marketing and business talk with nothing technical involved in it.Pankaj left with a promise to look upon things more seriously as soon as  he gets back to Delhi and also he gave me very good comments about my talk with him.  Always good to hear some positive and good feedback :-).  Well  in all this, we had our lunch, not anywhere else but on the stall itself.  It was organized by the exhibition's caterers.  I must admit that I was feeling a little tired and also a little bored by the time we were approaching to end the exhibition.  So I went to our neighbor stall of Pacific Securities to chit-chat with their staff.  Had some good laughs over there.  Finally it was 5pm and we collected our stuff and left for office.  Well we actually didn't go to office and stopped at Cafe Coffee Day instead :-).Whose idea it was?Hmm whose else idea it can be?Yes you got it right!It was me.  Just wanted to go there as it was a long long time since I had visited there.  It was not the same.  So much has been changed there.  Only the coffee and the ambience is still the same and that's the only two things which I like there.  I met a very good friend, who happens to be a part of CCD too as well ,after a long time.  Good!So after spending some time,I guess about an hour, we left for home!Yes home not office as we were all feeling a little tired so it was better to get back home and rest!Me and K stopped in the way to go to  Gurudwara( a religious place for prayers).I never went there and all I can say that I was just amazed to see the number of people, arrangements and everything in fact over there.  We spent about 20 minutes there and than we finally left for home.
It was a good experience over all.  Met some nice and intelligent people, learned some new things in the terms of marketing and business and above all, spent time with my friends.  Hope I would be able to do the same more and more in the coming future too as well.  Lets see.  What now?Well I am having a little stomach ache at the moment by the time I am writing this.  So I guess I would just sit and rest for some time(few  hours only) and than will answer you about it.  Till then, Adios!!!!


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