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84 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2018 The productronica show in Munich is the main marketing event that my company attends. It looks great when everyone gets there on opening day, but there is quite a lot that goes on behind the scenes to make it all happen. Planning what we are going to display starts a few months in advance. Our policy is nor- mally to show equipment that has been sold to our customers. The plus point for the custom- er is that we can usually offer a special price in return for their help. In return we get to show very current equipment on our stand. The logistics of getting everything to the show also takes a lot of organisation. For Viking, we normally have a full 40-foot trailer of equipment to ship from the UK to Germa- ny. It is a bit like conducting an orchestra—co- ordinating the production of equipment from several suppliers and timing the shipping of machines to arrive at our office in time to check and prepare them for the show, repack, and load them to the trailer. At the same time, I have to make sure we have booked enough power supply and compressed air service to allow us to run the machines and make a dynamic display. We use exhibition specialists to transport the equipment and set up the fabric of the stand, which is a huge help. It really pays to use com- panies who have good contacts at the show site to make sure you can get good access to services when you need them, such as forklift trucks. There is nothing worse than standing around for hours in the cold waiting for a fork- lift to show up only to find it is too small to lift your machine. Getting to Munich from the UK with tools and equipment is a long day. Leaving home at 5:00 a.m. and driving a van full of kit takes ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR: Behind the Scenes at productronica 2017 Ladle on Manufacturing, a column by Mark Ladle VIKING TEST LTD.

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