Let the exhibits begin
Oct 01, 2008
By Catherine Merlo
Building bridges. Making connections.
That’s the theme of this year’s World Dairy Expo, and it is, of course, what commercial exhibitors, dairy producers and just about everybody else hope to do during the show’s hectic week. It’s certainly what the Italians did last year. (More on that in a minute.)
With more than 700 commercial exhibitors at World Dairy Expo, you’ve got to compete smartly for the attention of the 67,000 people who attend. There’s immense pressure to secure a good location for your booth. The Exhibition Hall is a prime location.
I’m happy to say that Dairy Today holds a prominent spot in the foyer of the Exhibition Hall, at EH 4516 and 4517. It’s a high-traffic location fitting for the Five-Star Sponsor that we are. (Stop by our booth and meet Dairy Today’s team. Go one step further and tell our publisher, Bill Newham, how much you love the articles that Jim Dickrell and I write each month in Dairy Today.)
To grab people’s attention, exhibitors stock their booths with free giveaways, continuous loop videos, informational packets and snacks. Last year, an Italian company, SOP, went a step further to increase traffic to its booth in the Arena Level of the Coliseum.
|SOP’s Paolo Schiavetta and his two Italian assistants pose while setting up their booth at last year’s World Dairy Expo.
SOP, a barn hygiene and manure management company, stocked its booth with two lovely, long-haired young women who wore knee-high boots and short skirts. What’s more, the two “signorinas” could speak intelligently in English – albeit with strong Italian accents -- about SOP’s products.
The day before Expo officially opened, I spoke with the Paolo Schiavetta, the pleasant young man who headed SOP’s Expo exhibit. His booth was as deserted as a church on a Sunday afternoon.
When I went back a couple of days later -– at the peak of World Dairy Expo -- to see how they were doing, I couldn’t get close to SOP’s exhibit. Throngs of college-aged boys flocked around the booth, where the two young Italian women earnestly explained the company’s manure management products. If Schiavetta was there, I couldn’t see him.
I don’t know what kind of actual business SOP did during that week, but the Italian company sure made a good impression. It appears they did just fine because they’re coming back this year to Space 178-179 on the Arena Level of the Coliseum.
Come to think of it, if anybody would know how to shine in the Coliseum, it would be the Italians. These Expo exhibitors have ancient Rome in their blood – and they know how to use it.