Right up front I want to say that I realize I have a certain level of enthusiasm for things I deem worthy that can be a bit overly. Maybe even annoying to some. I put myself fully in to situations and generally enjoy whatever I’m doing. And when I’m happy I can’t help but show it. So take what I’m about to write with that in mind. But I’m here to tell you that the Ivoclar Vivadent presence in Cologne, Germany at the IDS meeting and the booth at that show and the general experience in the entire city surrounding it all would most likely make the most stoic among us giddy with enthusiasm. The energy here is palpable.
Maybe everyone here with their company feels that the city is palpating with the energy of them. I’m sure the Nobel Biocare team feels pride seeing their company’s logo flying on the flags across the river and the Sirona team likes seeing their logos and advertising around the city. But it’s different for Ivoclar. Our flags fly at hotels and at other buildings around the city. Our logo is plastered on the outside of the huge building our booth is housed. There are signs with our logo pointing people in the direction they need to go: to our functions throughout the city. Our product banners are displayed at building entrances. It goes on and on. While we enjoy excellent success in North America with our products and innovations, it’s different here and there’s nowhere better to see it displayed than at this show.
A visit to the official opening of the booth yesterday proves my point. We entered building #11 where we are housed (There are many, many buildings for this show. Presumably 10 before us and who knows how many after us, so this place is huge!) It’s bustling with the normal activity of booth set-up day at any show. But this day was a culmination of 10 days of booth set-up! Ten days of constructing a booth at least 5x the size of our booth at Chicago Midwinter, our largest North American show. (And I might be underestimating. It could be much larger.)
Approaching the Ivoclar Vivadent booth, there’s definitely a change in atmosphere. The lighting becomes brighter and the colors become bluer due to a new concept at the booth this year. And then there’s the pulsating of the sound system with Dean Martin singing ‘When You’re Smiling’ among other spirited music. There are dancers dressed in white and blue costumes with stark white hair on the stage set up in the middle of the booth. There’s a bar with high tops and chairs all around inviting people to meet and sit awhile. There are two glassed-in rooms set up with audio for group meetings and demonstrations each completely set up with our full product line and interestingly enough, green apples all around, adding the green to our blue and green company theme.
The booth looks great, there’s no doubt about it, but the thing that was even more impressive than our stunning booth? The passion and enthusiasm of everyone helping put it all together. And it’s no wonder: they’ve all been selected to work this meeting as a reward for some thing or another, so they seem happy to be there. But also, everyone was at a kick-off meeting last week where they learned the layout of the place, the products we’ll be focusing on, and had a team building experience. So they know what they’re to do and they’re acting happy to do it. The theme of the meeting for us this year is “I am a part of the future.” The booth evokes that definitely.
Then the official kick-off of the show began and I actually had to wipe away some tears! The music changed to a German song that is popular now and everyone spontaneously started singing along and moving and smiling, clearly a song everyone knows and loves! It felt like an anthem and it turns out it will be. As translated by a colleague, it’s about these days. These special days we’re all a part of to live and enjoy together. We’re all part of a bigger story.
And as it seems, we’re each a part of the future of our company.