As a globally active container trader, there are four major highlights for us when it comes to trade fairs. Intermodal Asia, Intermodal Europe and Transport Logistic for Europe and, last but not least, NPSA for the American market. In the last two years, all the trade fairs either did not take place at all or, if at all, were held in a very slimmed-down form or online, due to the pandemic. For the NPSA (National Portable Storage Association – leading trade association of the container industry in the USA), it was the first trade show since 2019. We had our last booth at the Conference & Tradeshow in West Palm Beach a good four years ago.
After such a long time and after it was reasonably certain that the trade show would be able to be held without major restrictions, we immediately went about planning. On the one hand, it was extremely important for us to show that we are still a strong partner for the North American market. On the other hand, it was also the first appearance for our new colleague and main responsible for the markets USA and Canada since February: Jacqueline Slayton. The team was completed by Philipp Paetzold and Wulf Aufgebauer.
Our own booth was to complete the iCON trade fair appearance. Due to the length of the trip to Denver and especially the time difference, enough time had to be planned for acclimatization. The resort (Gaylord Rockies Aurora), where the trade show was held as well, and the view of the Rocky Mountains quickly made up for the travel hardships. Thanks to various restaurants and cafés, its own logistics center, three exhibition halls and countless conference rooms, the hotel exuded the flair of a small town. A real logistical masterpiece when several trade shows and events are taking place at the same time. Definitely a good choice, dear NPSA!
On Saturday morning, before the official start, the booth was set up. It is always a nice to see the final product of several weeks of planning. And, if you ask us, the result was more than worth seeing. The feedback we received after the fact would confirm our assessment. A huge balloon in the shape of a container drew attention to our trade fair location, even from far away. At the booth we had, besides a photo booth with Rocky Mountains scenery, a wheel of fortune with the chance to win cool give-aways. The tickets for participation were the visitors’ business cards, which automatically entitled them to participate in our raffle for the main prices. Who would pass up that chance?
Most important to us, of course, was seeing familiar and new faces alike. We all agreed on one thing during and after the show: no phone or video call can replace a face-to-face meeting at a trade show or another event. After all, the container industry is a small scene where a personal connection is extremely important.
After such a long time, and after two crazy years of pandemic, the conversations were naturally all the more intense. Unfortunately, due to the large number of participants (record participation since the NPSA was founded!) and the short time, it was hardly possible for us to talk to each individual visitor in detail.
For us, the three days were a complete success. The execution was highly professional throughout and thanks to the event app, we were able to connect with other participants in advance and always had an overview of the sessions on the individual days. Highlights were the three big evening events (big thanks to the sponsors!), the many sessions and keynotes (including one with NFL legend Jim Kelly) and of course the reunion with old friends and partners as well as interesting conversations with new contacts. Our raffle was also a great success with more than 200 participants and ended with three lucky winners.
Thank you all for stopping by and once again thanks to the NPSA for this great event.
We can’t wait to see you all in Las Vegas in 2023!