I’m sitting in the Dunn Bros. coffee shop sipping an ice tea and surfing the net while my son has his weekly tutoring session. I usually enjoy these daytime, hour-long respites from the fast-paced environment of the Marketing Directions office. I find that I can relax and think, so I take Alex to tutoring every Tuesday that I’m in town.
But today is different. Today I am making a series of reservations that will take me to Europe three times within about 35 days at the beginning of next year.
It’s not that I get stressed out about making the reservations (although I did accidentally click the button and buy two hotel rooms in the wrong part of Paris; it took me 30 minutes on the phone to London and Paris to undo that earlier today and that DID stress me out). It’s that I find myself both excited and exhausted at the same time as I consider the packed itineraries I will have for each of four trade fairs during those trips AND what happens in the aftermath of all of them.
First, I will head to Frankfurt for Heimtextil, the world’s largest trade fair for home textiles. This is a six-day trip that I am considering extending so I can see the Cologne furniture fair. I worry, though, that by doing so, my return would put me too close to the day I need to depart for again for Frankfurt, this time for Premier. That’s where I see the Christmas World trade fair. From there I go on to Maison & Objet in Paris, so I see two key fairs in the same trip. I won’t be home much more than a week before I head back to Frankfurt one more time for Ambiente, a fair that I also consider a must-see event.
I’ll be done with all of this back-and-forth-ing by the 12th of February. Then comes the part where I sit down and write as well yet as fast as I can. I write for The Trend Curve™ and I write three and sometimes four Trend Albums™ (CD-ROM trend reports) from this series of fairs. All of this takes place within a couple of weeks. That’s really the hard part—getting good information and insight to our clients as fast as possible.
Each year, when I look back on the months of January and February all I see is a blur. 2006 will be no different. I only hope I get my typical energy boosts from the exciting new colors and trends I know I will see at the fairs. That’s what really keeps me going.