„Trasa nam dobrze znana. Od jednego baru do baru…” sang the well-known Polish band Kult. Paraphrasing those words a bit, I can say that during our week-long stay in Las Vegas, for us, the Bertrand crew, the route was also very well known. With the slight difference that we weren’t moving from bar to bar, but from the Circus Circus hotel to the convention center and back, stopping along the way in the early morning for breakfast at Denny’s restaurant.


People see what they want to see. And because they see beautiful, impressive photos, with palm trees and sunshine in the background, they think it was such a pleasant trip to the States. Like an all-inclusive trip paid for by Bertrand, they returned tanned and satisfied. Well… not entirely.


Today, I would like to tell you a few words about how such preparations for trade shows actually look, because I have the impression that the perception of it completely misses the brutal reality. To be clear – my perception was also different, also missed the “reality”.


The reality of trade shows is that in Las Vegas, we landed on Saturday, at different times, and the trade show started on Tuesday. In theory, it doesn’t look bad and that’s what we stuck to. On the day of arrival in the States, there was still enough energy and enthusiasm to stroll along the strip in the evening and marvel at a few things. But the next day, the prose of life caught up with us.


We got up at the crack of dawn, before 7 am, because one, the sun was rising beautifully outside the window, and two, it was hard to adjust to a completely different time zone. We agreed in a larger group to have some breakfast in the morning – here our friend Dawid, who was in Vegas last year, recommended Denny’s restaurant – and then we would go to our booth to see how the progress was going.


Dawid, our technical specialist who flew to the States to oversee whether the products were properly installed, had a grim expression on his face, and his eyes weren’t fully awake. He spent the whole previous day at the hall, working with the workers from the Turkish company that was setting up our booth, to get our windows and large, bulky structures placed in the right spots. It may seem like a completely simple task to put a window in the right opening – unfortunately, the problem is much more complex when we’re talking about specialized constructions that also require electrical connections.


However, we weren’t expecting anything too heavy, after all, most of the constructions were already installed, so we walked to the hall with cheerful steps, in good spirits. It was barely past 8 am, the sun was shining beautifully – we thought we’d spend two, three hours, plus record something, and then it would be just sightseeing.


We left well after 9 pm. Both on Sunday and Monday. Extremely exhausted. But with a sense of duty well fulfilled.


Because we found out on the spot that there was still a ton of work to do and all hands on deck. We also realized that two days before the trade show was terribly short and that we really had to push ourselves to get everything done. We had to adjust the windows, assemble the floor from scratch (props to Mateusz and Sebastian, they managed almost on their own), clean the windows, clean up, set everything up, take care of the smallest details. It’s impossible to describe it in words.


These two days, during which there was really little sleep and breaks for rest, took a toll on us, but… at the same time, they built something without which we couldn’t go any further. A fantastic atmosphere within our team. In this hardship and toil, we managed to incredibly consolidate ourselves and have a great time. There was no topic or problem that couldn’t be handled. We needed a saw for cutting (because we only had a manual one)? Let’s ask the competitors from Poland who were setting up their booth literally twenty meters away, maybe they’ll lend us one (they did without any problem). Need to set up the floor? – I’ll cut, – says Mateusz, – You’ll drill, – he turns to Seb, – And you… he looks at me significantly. – I’m not technical, – I say immediately. – Well then… – Mateusz paused for a moment. – Well then, you’ll mark. Come on, I’ll show you. – In such an atmosphere, the work went smoothly.


What also surprised me on the spot was the fact that Americans are very open and very helpful. And they talk a lot, joke a lot.


This openness, attention to detail, appreciation of small things – we can learn from them. I don’t know to what extent it’s genuine and to what extent it’s acting, but Americans have a level of empathy of a thousand, or even more. It manifests itself in small gestures. The girl at the Adidas store. She searched for a T-shirt for me for half an hour, then gave me her employee discount. Or another incident. I gave a woman from the IBS staff a Knoppers bar that Mateusz left behind, because she helped speed up the arrival of a forklift truck on the last day. She was genuinely surprised and touched. – That was so sweet, honey! – she yelled after me.


A moment later, a guy from the staff approached me. He asked directly: – What did you give her? A candy?No, – I said. – A chocolate bar.For what occasion?No occasion. She helped me, so I wanted to repay her.That’s so cool, man, – he patted me on the back. – That’s so cool.


The phrase you often hear from them usually goes like this: I appreciate it! Whatever you do for them, they immediately appreciate it. And you also don’t know how genuine it is, and how much of it is acting, but even if it’s the latter, it’s acting at a high level. Because they really rejoice when you do something for them. For example, when we approached people sitting at the booth during the trade show to offer them water or treat them with “Ptasie Mleczko” candy, which the management specially brought from Poland. They seemed completely unprepared for it, as if only Bertrand’s booth had such attractions. Their eyes widened in surprise, then that surprise turned into immense gratitude, and then what do you hear? First a brief “Thank you,” and then immediately thrown out: – I appreciate it!


As for what was happening at the booth, I’ll get back to that in the next post. I’ll end this one… with a Polish touch. So, walking to the hall on Monday morning, already practically at the entrance, we noticed that literally twenty meters away, three food trucks were parked. That wasn’t particularly weird, more like normal. However, a moment later, we rubbed our eyes in amazement when we noticed that one of them had a huge graphic with… pierogi. And the caption: PIEROGI.


When I posted this photo on my private Instagram, after a few minutes, a friend who had traveled across the States from top to bottom contacted me. He also wandered around Las Vegas a bit, had his own experiences, including seeing Britney Spears coming out of one of the casinos. – “But that they sell pierogi, I didn’t know,” Paweł writes to me.


But we did. Although I would still prefer to see Britney.