Every two years, ELEVATOR WORLD participates in the elevator exhibition Asansör Istanbul, which takes place in Istanbul, Turkey. This was my second trip to this historic city, and it remains one of my favorite places to visit. However, the trip started terribly with several multi-hour delays, missed planes, extra connections and lost baggage. The day finally ended with the screeching tires of the plane touching down at the destination just over 28 hours after our departure from Mobile, Alabama USA.
With the help of two double expressos and a half of a bottle of Visine®, we headed to the hotel just in time for dinner and then the standard toss-and-turn first night’s sleep. The new day brought a little extra pep and we needed every ounce for our stand set up. Luckily it was quick and painless and we were on our way to view a few sights just shortly after lunch.
The city is unique as it is situated on both the Asian and European continents, separated by the Bosporus Strait. The Strait is a very active waterway and narrow in places. Due to this, oil tankers and cargo ships can be seen lined up for miles awaiting their turn to enter The Black Sea.
The city’s beauty lies within its culture, color, energy, history and food. Blooming and vibrant tulips abound, mosques fill the hills and illuminate graciously at night, old ruins of forts and walls line the seaway giving a hint to its golden age, prayer chants flood the city, the smell of fresh spices and produce fill the air and masses of people enjoy the beautiful weather Istanbul has to offer this time of year.
The exhibition itself is the second largest in the industry and comprises 250-300 exhibitors and nearly 20,000 attendees. The bulk of both attendees and exhibitors are from the Turkish and Middle Eastern markets. There were a smaller amount of European and Asian participants and almost no Americans. However, I was pleased to see Leslie Malloy with WestCoast Innovative Pro-Pads attend and Dan Walsh and Daren Correll of Kinetek as exhibitors.
ELEVATOR WORLD travels the globe to bring our customers more exposure, promote our brand and tap those markets that are ever-expanding in our industry. We believe the Turkish market is one of them and we all know the significance of the Middle East. While at the exhibition, ELEVATOR WORLD unveiled its newest product, The Euro Source. It was well-received and garnered much interest. We also had the opportunity to renew partnerships with our sister publications in Italy and Germany while forming new relationships with the Turkish and Greek journals.
One of the highlights of the week was a dinner cruise on the Bosporus, which was held by the organizers. This certainly helped break up the long exhibition days and provided amazing sunset and night views of the city. It also gave us ample time to discuss partnerships, world-wide industry economic impacts and other industry chatter.
After the successful 4-day exhibition, we packed up, ate dinner and settled in for a very important 3-hour nap before we headed to the airport at 3 a.m. The trip back was not as dramatic as the trip over and we were home Easter night, just in time to spend some time with family before hitting our heads on our own pillows for the first time in a week.
Istanbul provides a distinctive charm not seen in other European or Asian cities and if you ever get a chance to visit all I can say is enjoy. In the meantime, it’s back to work. While drowning in e-mails, meetings and follow-ups from the exhibition, I can’t help thinking that this time last week I was cruising the Bosphorous, sipping on Turkish Tea and enjoying the amazing music, food and views. Back in Alabama, at least it’s nice out today but my Lipton’s Diet Green Tea and Caesar Salad (no dressing) just aren’t going down as well.
There’s always 2011.
Best — Brad