Bertrand Windows and Doors

Vegas Diary. Chapter III

You've been preparing for several months. The weeks go by as if someone had cracked them. You feel something special is coming. An opportunity for the company, an adventure of a lifetime for you. And then it's Tuesday, February 27, at 9:00 a.m., you're standing at the stand with your friends and... you don't feel that great excitement. Everything seems so normal, and the crowd of people you passed an hour ago on your way to the party has dispersed somewhere throughout the hall. Then you think to yourself: - Is this supposed to be this big fair?

You don't know yet that... you don't really think. You'll soon find out. And especially on the second day, just before noon, when there will be so many people at the Bertrand stand that you won't know where to look.

IBS 2024 started lazily. Somewhere from loudspeakers suspended high, an announcement in English came - welcome to the IBS fair - standard fluff, just as if you were standing at a station in Poland and listening to information that the Lębork - Słupsk train will enter track 1 at platform 1.

The participants did not go to the stands as a group. We, the Bertrand team, tight and ready, each of us imagined it more or less like this, that the start would be as impressive as if the entire "Team" was coming to Płock. And here... silence, peace. People moved slowly, lazily. We were very focused on this beginning, on the fact that from the first seconds there would be fire until the end. And this fire was there, it came suddenly and unexpectedly around 11 o'clock, when it started to get more crowded.

The biggest challenge was on the second day. There are so many people that it's hard to keep track of them, and you don't want anyone to be waiting, not necessarily intentionally left out, not to feel ignored. Often you had to improvise quickly, especially if you wanted to talk to a specific person. For example with Paul, our sales manager. A customer comes over, we greet each other nicely, and he politely asks how I'm doing.

- Everything's all right. And with you? – I say. “Great,” he replies mechanically, and I can already see that he's looking around the booth. – Can I help you with something? - I'm asking. - Actually yes. Can you tell me where Paul is?

And it wasn't like only one person asked about Our friend from Ohio. There were a lot of questions, especially on the second day. Our dear Paul made sure that the Bertrand stand was visited by quite a large group of customers.

The second thing that stuck in my mind is that Americans are... terrible gadget lovers. But not in the sense that they have new iPhones or smartwatches (although they probably do). I'm more concerned about such collectors of marketing materials. All kinds. At the front we had a table, something like a reception desk, with our bags, pens, nets and small curtains for the laptop camera. The last one especially surprised the guests, they took it in their hands and looked at it from every side.

- What is this? – they asked. – It's a cover for the laptop camera – we explained politely. -Really? – they expressed surprise. – They didn't expect it at all. In fact, we could have told them it was anything. Once we even gently released one participant to whom we told him it was a mini processor. “You're making a fool of me,” he looked in disbelief. - NO. Seriously. – Really?!

Well, okay, I did. But I also quickly corrected him.

Ending this thread, one guy said straight: - Funny gadget. But it's useful, I'll take it - and he took two pieces of this tiny miracle in his hand. – You are probably the only company that has something like this.

Gadgets were disappearing from our reception wholesale. Not just these caps. Bags, pens, everything. I remember a few months before the fair, we were wondering what to take with us.

– Americans love collecting things like this. They take whatever they can and as much as they can, argued our director, Olaf. To be honest, we didn't quite believe him. Well, it's a prestigious event, Vegas, and people will grab bags and pens from a Polish company. And here's a surprise.

I think what made our company stand out was - apart from great products - the atmosphere. We had a really cheerful, although always professional team, but they had a rather unconventional way of conducting conversations. We held competitions for our clients in which they won our gadgets and it really worked. Probably no company has ever thought of something so trivial.

The second issue is an individual approach to the client. They were delighted with how our salespeople conducted the conversation, how they talked about the products, but also about the company itself. The way the conversation was conducted was also not standard, sometimes light and joking. At some point, already on the third day, we were approached by a salesman, Mateusz, an incredible talker. – Did you know that customers take photos with me? – he suddenly says. Like him, you never know if he's telling the truth or if he's fooling you. And although we saw that he had a nice contact with customers, we didn't fully believe him.

He returns half an hour later. Next to him is a guy in his forties, elegantly dressed. – Take a photo of us – he hands over the phone, and the customer... positions himself next to him. With a smile, satisfied. – I have already taken a dozen or so of these photos – says our friend, then says goodbye politely, and we are still in a bit of shock.

Really. He didn't go dark.

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