Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Frankfurt and Travel

As I departed for the airport this past Sunday afternoon it was for the first time all year that I have shortened my weekend for business travel. Over the past several years I may have done this as many as 20 times a year. Virtually all of these departures were a prelude to an over night transactlantic trip with the promise of a full days work on Monday. I missed Frankfurt for the first time in eight years last week and this was often a two week trip. In 2003, I did a round the world three week trip with the last three days on the stand in Hall 8.0. Such is my ambition. I won't do that again.

The interesting thing at Frankfurt are the people you meet. It is a great place to meet international customers but you are also likely to bump into the senior level publishing people. It seems to happen more regularly at Frankfurt for some reason. I remember my first show when I met an Egyptian licensor of our content on our stand and he presented me with a highly decorated cigar (ash) tray. I felt horrible. I don't smoke and I didn't have anything for him. In October 2001, traffic was sparse and as I walked around the English hall 8.0 I envisioned a large bullseye on the roof. That year in remembrance the entire fair came to a halt on one of the days for a few minutes of total quiet.

Frankfurt is hectic, hot and smoky but it can be rewarding to showcase your products to a very large audience. I have always looked forward to it and when I am invariably traveling to the airport on Saturday morning I think if only I had more time to look around more.

What I started to say regarding traveling is that I am doing less of it but more of it at the same time. This year no more international travel but lots of tribulations traveling domestically. At the moment I am suffering a three hour delay on the way home. I will make tier level the hard way via segments and not miles. Mrs PND looked coolly at me as I left on Sunday but it really hasn't been so bad this year. We persevere.

Postscript: Seven hour commute home (norm is 4hrs). I did catch Letterman and saw Bob Woodward and listened to what is now becoming his stump speech. News yesterday that they are reprinting State of Denial and there will be 1mm in print. Also, while I was stuck in an airport at least I wasn't at the Quills awards.

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