Perstorp's Innovations Seminar scheduled to take place on Wednesday 21 April was turned into an informal reception at the last minute. A pleasant, well attended reception replaced a seminar which was shaping up to be far less of a success due to the closure of European air space.
A limited amount of visitors scattered restlessly across the aisles. Rows of stands interrupted with empty spaces or stands with nobody to occupy them. The general impression at the last VIV Europe was peculiar at best. An angry volcano almost 2000 kilometres away is not something a trade fair can anticipate.
In the same circumstances we had organised an Innovations Seminar for our customers. Everything was lined up for a great seminar on Wednesday 21 April. Right after VIV Europe would close its doors a few dozen of our customers would attend a one hour seminar followed by snacks and drinks. However, things would not play out as planned.
Friday before the seminar European air traffic came to a screeching halt due to the ash cloud produced by an erupting volcano in Iceland. Calls and e-mails started coming in during the weekend - one customer after another let us know they would not be able to make it. The Innovations Seminar seemed destined for failure.
On the following Tuesday, as the first day of VIV Europe had just started, we decided to make the best out of the situation and turn the seminar into an informal reception open to all our business contacts. We passed out invitations as we visited stands and ran into people in the aisles of the trade fair.
This decision turned out to be a success. A total of around 50 business contacts ranging from customers and prospects to suppliers and media representatives showed up for some good food, drinks and conversations. Some pictures of the reception can be viewed below this article.
Only time will tell if rebounding from the effects of the ash cloud which disrupted European air traffic will be as easy for VIV Europe as it has been for Perstorp.