Submitted by Michelle Plett, Account Executive, PR at The Think Tank
On October 6-7th I had the privilege of attending Architect@Work, Paris, one in a series of eponymous architecture fairs throughout Europe.
The Architect@Work (A@W) concept travels through Germany, France, The Netherlands and Belgium. Unlike typical trade fairs A@W focuses on creating opportunity for building business relationships in a less commercial environment, without bright lights, big stands and music filling the halls.
When I first walked in it was apparent that this fair was purpose built, darker than normal, the atmosphere screamed serious design. Located in one large hall visitors immediately came across the curated exhibition “Made in Light.” Hosted by Innovatheque, the exhibition explored the use of innovative materials and how they are lit.
Below the exhibit delegates could attend a series of lectures on everything from materials to lighting. I chose one entitled “lumieres and luminaires; architectural lighting”. It was fascinating, even though it was all in French, and the seats were comfortable too!
To the right and left were two hallways flanked by high black curtains. Nestled in groups of four company stands faced each other, triangular in shape, sharing a desk in the middle with only room enough to have a look at the product and then ideally, be taken off stand for a chat.
Note: I became incredibly adept at saying “Sorry, I am in PR and I’m here to view new products. I’m not looking for anything” in French…
The model behind A@W is to spark interest through your stand and then take the potential client out to the halls where food and drink are provided throughout the day. Here a chat and refreshments allowed companies to dig deeper into client needs without distracting new visitors on stand.
The atmosphere was great; professional and focused. The delegates were right on target and my clients came out with great results. I would recommend this fair to anyone interested in reaching the European market.
Thanks Architect@Work for bringing it back to business.