The Trade Show Tango

Jennifer Zurko

Before “Dancing With The Stars” jumped the shark, when my family and I watched it all the time, the Argentine Tango became my favorite dance.

It’s a beautiful mix of romance, interpretive movements, flirtation and footwork to some sexy music. Every step, every position has to be precise; mistakes and missteps can’t be hidden and can ruin the entire dance.

I’ve personally never danced the Argentine Tango (although I would love to try it), but I’ve watched many couples perform it on TV. Afterwards, they look spent, but with smiles on their faces. That’s how fun the Argentine Tango looks.

I’ve been thinking of how to compare the whirlwind process of attending a trade show to something and that’s when I thought of it as a sort of dance.

There’s some fancy footwork involved—how else can Bossman Beytes cover 1.18 million square feet of trade show floor at IPM Essen? Interpretive movements are sometimes in order, especially if you’re running late for a meeting and you get sidetracked by a long-winded colleague (body language is key here). Romance and flirtation? You can certainly fall in love with the slew of beautiful flowers and plants you find in the multitude of booths. (Gossip about Cultivate hook-ups need not apply here.)

And after the dance is done, you’re spent, but with a great feeling of accomplishment.

Every year, our editorial staff figures out how to divide-and-conquer the many trade shows scheduled in the month of January. It’s too hard to try to go to every one (I mean, we have to get a magazine out at the same time, you know). But I think we’ve come to a good point where we all have our primary trade show “beats”—mine is MANTS in Baltimore, Chris and Ellen go to TPIE in Florida, Chris also goes to IPM in Germany, and sometimes Jen Polanz will head down to Atlanta for the Gift Market. It takes a lot of choreography to make sure we’re at the events where we can find the newest and most innovative products for our readers.

This month, we have all of that coverage on both sides of the magazine. Here in GrowerTalks, we have highlights from IPM Essen and MANTS, and on the Green Profit side, all of the TPIE coverage can be found.

We also have articles where you’ll find some handy tips and information, like on sanitation techniques, new pesticides you may have missed, consumer survey data on plant tags, innovative irrigation floors and an update on phytosanitary programs.

Now that the peak of trade show season is over, we’ll be switching from the Trade Show Tango to the Spring Trials Two-Step. That dance comes with a whole different routine and fancy footwork … GT