I like to tell my friends: “How lucky that you and I are alive at the same time!”, to which they look at me with wide-eyed surprise as if I’d stated the blatantly obvious as I have sometimes been known to do. But then I go on to clarify something as clear-cut as the fact that if we had been born a hundred years earlier, or a hundred years later, I would not have the opportunity to enjoy their friendship and company. I would have other friends and acquaintances, but not these, and vice versa. Something similar happens with spatial proximity, although in this case destiny would surely have lent a hand, because even if we had been born on opposite sides of the world, we could have been able to meet up. (Isn’t it true, mate?”).
In this world of the transportation and communications revolution we take it for granted that everyone is within reach, that any form of contact is possible, not only in the personal sense, but also professionally. While it is true that the world has become a smaller place, it is also true that our lives have become more intense and that time is now an increasingly scarce commodity. Like everyone who was born and started working in the prehistoric pre-digital age, I often find myself thinking about work productivity before email and the mobile phone. We worked, and we worked hard, but the results were far, far lower. The pressure to continue making the most of our time is ever present due to the voracious nature of both society and the corporate world, both of which soar over our heads in true Orwellian fashion, ever vigilant, constantly demanding.
That’s why our professional meetings of exporters and importers held during trade fairs like MEAT ATTRACTION and organised by IFEMA in collaboration with ANICE and ICEX are still such a good idea. The mere fact that you can make contact with so many potential business partners in one place at the same time is an undeniable luxury, especially if we consider the alternative of having to travel to where they are all based. Even if some appointments do not match the exact profile that suits us, the relationship between time taken and effort made to discover they do not, makes this arrangement worthwhile. In any case, the appointments are made on an itinerant basis, with the intention always being to receive confirmation from both sides and to bear the profiles and requests stated by both parties in mind. If the upshot is the “romance” of a lasting business relationship, this will have more to do with the interested parties than with this initial meeting. All this fits in perfectly with taking full advantage of technology and gathering information beforehand to seek out possible business partners, contacting them online and exchanging interests and information. The more prepared we are thanks to technology, the more successful our participation in the meetings will be. A bilingual website containing relevant details makes our profile more attractive to third parties. And vice versa, because that special profile seen in advance may cause us to fall in love, or at least arouse our interest. Then, as we have already mentioned, everything will depend on true existing compatibility and on how we develop and implement our presentation and negotiation strategy.
One of the many sayings passed down to us by the Romans is “Tempus fugit”, which translates as “time flies”. Let’s make the most of this window of opportunity that brings us together in space and time by using these meetings to take full advantage of our precious and limited time. And don’t forget to tell your friends: “How lucky that we are alive at the same time and enjoying the gift of friendship!”