analytical Q May-Aug 2000 Sept-Dec 2000 Jan-Apr 2001 Discussion

The Diary
Anne Ku

21 March 2001 Wednesday

almost 80 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston




I have been spoiled by European tradeshows where free alcohol, refreshments, gourmet food, and other attractions lure visitors to the booths and stay for as long as possible. Today, at the Houston Energy Expo, I was ever so thirsty for even a sip of water.

Two booths had cappucino machines. One or two gave away free bottles of water. At the eWorld show in Essen, Germany, the exhibitors were competing against each other for good drinks and displays. One Irish energy broker had guiness on tap. Another UK-based broker poured me top quality champagne at 10 am. How could I refuse? Some of the larger booths employed bartenders to exotic cocktails. Others served power drinks - freshly squeezed juices to tempt any power trader.

We wondered why no one was coming to our booth. After all, we had plenty of free literature to give away. No, it wasn't that people didn't want freebies, but that they couldn't make it to our distant booth with no drinks in between. I guessed that it was too intimidating to walk the empty distance, with all the exhibitors looking at you. There was simply not enough traffic. And the reason? the weather was too good to miss.