Non Stop Go - Counting the Steps at Messe Frankfurt
It was Robert Plant who coined the phrase Non Stop Go for his 1988 World Tour. Whilst not quite a global odyssey, Sound Marketing’s week at Prolight+Sound certainly kept our intrepid duo on the move...
Hopes of leaving a soaking wet Heathrow on Monday afternoon to soak up some German spring sunshine are dashed upon arrival. It’s raining in Frankfurt too and it might even be colder...
Steph and Amy are at Prolight + Sound, an international exhibition of event and media technology held at the giant Messe Frankfurt and comprising a global market place at which some of Sound Marketing’s clients are present. Landing on a wet Monday evening after a final morning of preparation in the office might not be the most inspiring start to the week but in actual fact, the weather will be of little relevance once the work starts. An early night beckons.
Tuesday morning begins with the now customary rigmarole of gaining access to the halls. Yes, everything has been arranged in advance, yes there are barcodes aplenty but security is understandably tight and patience for the experienced PR and her tenacious assistant is essential. The first job of the day is scheduled for 11am and the scanners and scrutineers go about their business without regard to the clock. Lesson one - get there early, leave nothing to chance and smile.
For Steph, the day begins with the first of a host of scheduled press meetings on behalf of Pioneer Pro Audio, CODA Audio and GDS, all of whom are introducing new products at the show, whilst Amy acquaints herself with the geography of the Messe and the locations of the clients’ stands. The step-counter will be working overtime this week. Back at HQ, much time is spent in communication with the magazines and websites that chronicle the industry but there is no substitute for the face to face meetings and relationships developed at shows like Prolight. Ideas are pitched, new products discussed and strategic advertising and possible exclusive editorial opportunities are given the once-over. The diversity of Sound Marketing’s clients across very different industry sectors means that the meetings come thick and fast and lunchtime passes by unnoticed. After a whistle-stop tour of clients’ stands, Amy retires to a quiet internet station to carry on with the daily business of issuing press releases and co-ordinating communications. Prolight is a big show and it’s Sound Marketing’s job to make certain that every ounce of potential is extracted.
And that is the order of the day for three gruelling days. Never mind some rather choice Italian food on one occasion...oh and that rather tasty Asian-fusion cuisine on another, the cycle of work means that heads are down pretty early. By the time Thursday evening comes round, Steph and Amy have been involved in more than 20 press calls or meetings on behalf of the three clients present, as well as internal client meetings, awards ceremonies, stand parties, product demonstrations and working dinners. As events begin at The CODA Audio cocktail party and Steph sips a well-earned glass of fizz, Amy heads of to the Pioneer Pro Audio stand where a live DJ demo is taking place. By the time that’s done and she returns, the food is sparse but the conversation goes on until security signals the end of another Prolight + Sound.
Amy has been part of the team at Sound Marketing for three years and although she’s attended a number of industry events, Frankfurt is her first all-weeker and it’s been an eye-opener.
“It’s been a challenge but I’ve loved it. It’s easy to feel a little detached sitting at my desk back at HQ but working close up with the clients and helping to make things work has been a buzz - it gives you a real sense of connection to the value of of our work and that’s a good feeling. I think I’ve learned a lot - I know I’ve walked a lot!”
As you were. Heathrow is 10C and it’s drizzling. Between them Steph and Amy have clocked over 100,000 steps. Non Stop Go. Mission Accomplished.