Bob's Blog

Mardi Gras and Trade Shows

NEW ORLEANS, LA - MARCH 8: Large crowds reach up for beads as the Jester float in the traditional Rex parade rolls down Canal Street on Mardi Gras March 8, 2011 in News Orleans, Louisiana. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday is the final day of Carnival, and the day before Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. It's been celebrated in Louisiana since the late 17th century when it was under French colonial rule. (Photo by Cheryl Gerber/Getty Images)

In south Louisiana, it’s Carnival time.  That doesn’t mean a midway and rides, or cotton candy… well, I guess it could mean cotton candy, but that’s not what we think of!  Carnival season, to us, means what the rest of the world calls “Mardi Gras.”  Technically, Mardi Gras is one day – the day before Ash Wednesday – and the whole season is called Carnival.  During this season, we have parades (yes, the ones you’ve heard about) (but no, they aren’t like what you’ve heard… they are very family-oriented, and really a lot of fun!), we have balls with gorgeous tableaux, we have a blast.

Mardi Gras is a whole lot like being at a trade show.  I’m sure you’ve been to a trade show or expo at some point.  You walk around aisle after aisle, seeing a whole lot of stuff that can be overwhelming, even while you are interested in what is available to you.  It’s a lot to take in.  So is Mardi Gras.

I had the fortune of attending the PLMA trade show in Chicago in November of last year, and I have to say a few things.  One, I sure was grateful that it was in the 50s that week; while the natives were comfortable in shorts and t-shirts, I didn’t freeze to death.  Two, the people of Chicago in general could not have been nicer.  Three – what an absolute pleasure it is to be able to meet our customers, old and new, at trade shows.

The spring will bring a significant amount of exposure to our products through a variety of shows; distributors’ shows, in particular, seem to be happening nearly daily throughout the spring.  We will be back in Chicago in March, for the International Housewares Show.  And in the meantime, we will be at Carnival parades, eating king cake (rather than cotton candy), and taking in all the sights we can see.

I hope I see you at our upcoming trade shows.  Shout “throw me something, mister” and I guarantee you won’t go home empty handed.  Happy new year, everybody – and happy Mardi Gras.


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