Having skilfully organised and ‘sync’ed’ the diaries of the ‘big boss’, VIP guests and of course lucky me, mission Inplace Cosmoprof 2012 was finally underway. This task was difficult enough but much graver events where about to take place…
The day started as any other trip abroad, a group of somewhat over excited adults being awake and active at an obscenely early time of day, arriving at the airport we checked in and leisurely strolled to security. It was then the nightmare began to unfold as we struck what can only be described as ‘lengthy’ queues – anyone would think there was a buy one get one free on Lamborghini’s!
We battled through the crowds and when three quarters of the party had made it through disaster struck, myself and one of the VIP’s bags got held up by security so we were forced waited for what seemed a lifetime and after pointing out we were going to miss our plane we were bluntly told “well better safe than sorry”. 30 minutes later a flash of blue and beige whipped through Stansted airport like ‘the flash’ had ran out of red and orange costumes, all the way to the furthest gate possible (or so it seemed) to be greeted by a massive disappointment of a closed gate.. yes myself and guest had missed the flight
As we strolled back to the main entrance I tried to imagine how I was going to explain losing an entire party of adults, but then a glimmer of hope as the rest of my party begin to walk towards me! Who even though they have spent their adult lives balancing accounts and managing figures had read the number wrong had taken themselves to the wrong gate meaning they also missed the flight, for the first time in Inplace history something might not be in place or on time either!
Well with true Inplace grit and determination I was not going let this happen, so over I went to the Ryan Air desk changed our flights got us coffees (at this point we definitely needed the caffeine fix) and off we flew to Parma, then into a taxi down to Bologna in place finally.
The event itself is a massive exhibition, I was a little overwhelmed at first, with over 2000 exhibitors covering the halls with everything from tanning beds, hair extensions and body art to manufacturing tools and logistic offers. I was in my element! Strolling round absorbing as much as was humanly possible, getting display ideas and seeing what new inventions people had come up with to keep us all looking healthy and gorgeous for years to come. Companies from around the world including; U.S.A, Korea, China, Canada and all across Europe attended and displayed at the event. It was such a learning experience to see how companies worked, it certainly gave me a lot to think about and made me glad to have the systems I have back home to keep track of things, some of these people certainly looked like they could do with my help rather than the other way around.
After spending a few hours getting acquainted with the layout we went back to our hotel via the free shuttle bus (a commodity which proved itself indispensable) and put on our glad rags ready to explore Bologna.
The city itself is exceptionally beautiful with old style rustic buildings combined with new fashion stores such as Zara and H&M the outcome being a perfect mix for the beauty event to be held. We headed to a little Italian restaurant which proved popular with the locals so we knew we were in safe hands, the food was fantastic but what I enjoyed most was the table conversation, learning about peoples past jobs, how they felt about their current roles and how they envisioned the future of cosmetics within their stores, I did feel at some points a bit like I should be shining a big light in their face or explaining I was part of the Spanish inquisition with the sheer amount of questions I was asking but I hope they realised this was sheer enthusiasm for my new role
Overall I felt this trip has tightened our relationship with a valued customer who we enjoy working with. And I cannot wait for the next event… in Hong Kong?????