Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Public Service Announcement: Some Basic Rules for BaselWorld - Don't Lose Your Shit

I put this out there last year following BaselWorld, but as we head for BaselWorld 2015 I thought it might be instructive for first-timers getting ready to catch their flights -

This is for brands, bloggers, "magazine mavens" and buyers.

1.  Be polite!  If you are covering watches, don't' start grabbing stuff and "instagramming" it before you even manage a "hello" or "how are you?".  Ask:  "May I?" before you reach your hairy paw over to grab watches.  

UPDATE - Several people were desperate to know who this referred to.  Having spent a wee bit of time in this person's presence this past Thursday night I can tell you that, sadly, this person is still about as polite, well-behaved and self-aware as before.  But then again, it will make for interesting cocktail hour conversation.

If you are told that the watch in question is in embargo (i.e. not to be photographed or talked about), don't be an ass-hat!  Pretend that you didn't see it, turn away and ask about other items.  If you are not supposed to report on embargoed items, there is no reason to insist on photographing them.

2.  Be considerate of other people's time.  If you are late, recognize this and apologize - and that goes for BOTH sides of the booth.

IMPORTANT - Take this SERIOUSLY - time is the one commodity that everyone will be running short of.  And this even goes for seemingly "social" meetings.  I've seen many good relationships take nasty, unfortunate turns over something that seems so innocuous.  If you're late, say you're sorry - mean it, then turn the page.

3.  Don't double-book!  I don't care how tight your time is, if you double-book, someone will notice.  I do not care HOW important your PR agency thinks the blogger two doors down might be.  If I've made an appointment with you - I am the most important person on your dance card at that moment.  I do not expect my "host" to excuse themselves to go and "kiss the ring" of someone who never even writes about them during MY TIME.  I've spent time, money and vacation hours to be at your booth at BaselWorld.  Don't mess me about for someone else.  I am the one who you came to the dance with.

UPDATE - I was contacted by about 7 different brand managers convinced it was them ; )

4.  Be understanding - it will happen that a brand will schedule something, and for whatever reason it gets forgotten.  Nine times out of ten, it is not personal.  It's okay to say that you are disappointed.  It is not okay to lose your shit.  Turn the page. 

IMPORTANT - If you are the type to take offense (and we are all human and can be prone to ego) be aware of this shortcoming in your personal "makeup" and relax, smile and understand.  I will go on record here - I have NOT always been patient and/or understanding and have ALWAYS instantly regretted it.  You will miss/forget things yourself.  Put your "big boy" (or "big girl") pants on and smile and understand.  

And for the brands -
Sometimes  it is entirely possible that your appointment is having medical distress.  It isn't personal - and it isn't someone "flaking out" - thank you Liliana for that charming turn of phrase. 
Again - accept apologies, don't lose your shit.  And for those of you PR mavens who cannot and will not accept situations beyond normal control - GET OVER YOURSELVES! 

YES - this was directed at the PR "Gatekeeper" for a "prestige" brand.   Apologies and doctor's notes were dismissed abruptly and I still carry the label of "Flake" with this person.  Since then I have tried to ensure that all medical emergencies take place either before, or after BaselWorld ; )

5.  Don't "ass things up" for everyone else.  Bloggers are finally getting a reasonable reputation.  Don't be the blogger that everyone is so afraid of that they spend precious time catering to your profound neurosis, and then end up not helping out your fellow bloggers as they are busy falling all over themselves trying to keep your dumb ass happy.   Invest in some therapy if your self-esteem is suffering, but don't take it out on the poor souls trying to feed your massive ego.  And news flash - you are not respected, you are feared - and not feared owing to your professional opinion, you are feared because of your past track record for, well, losing your shit.

6.  Bloggers, writers, editors - take the time to actually get to know your brand contacts.  Are they married? Do they have kids?  How old are the kids?  What are their hobbies? 
You enjoy being asked about yourself, why do you think that they are different?  Take an interest!  Does your brand contact have a cat that frequently visits his atelier?  If so, does the cat like sardines?  This information could prove invaluable when shopping for appropriate gifts when visiting said atelier later on.  I for one would bring sardines if that was what the atelier cat enjoyed. 

UPDATE - amazingly enough, the more time you take to actually engage with a brand representative, the more likely they are to go out of their way to help you.  You might, just might even have a new friendship out of it.  Amazing, huh?  

I guess overall, the main message is "Don't Lose Your Shit".  More importantly, don't be a shit.

So... clear your mind of frustration, disappointment, and self-importance.  You are one of thousands of people "running with the bulls" through the halls of BaselWorld.  It will be intense, it will be a mad-cap rush to the finish line, but we will all be just fine if we can hold onto our shit ; )

Having worked BaselWorld from both sides of the counter, I am constantly amazed that 90% of things happen perfectly. 

And 10% is, well, life.  Life happens.  It isn't personal ; )

So with less than 12 months to get ready,  Here's to BaselWorld 2015!

Or as of this update - 2 weeks!

And -


No comments:

Post a Comment