Marketing staff member Stephanie Marchsreiter visits subsidiary Mahlo America Inc.
Well, now the time has come: after being almost a year with the department for Marketing and Media Relations, my first trade show visit lies ahead. The NPE in Orlando is my destination, one of the most important exhibitions in the plastics industry worldwide. To get there, a 12 hour journey is inevitable. The trip starts in Munich with a short layover in Frankfurt. The plane ride only takes 35 minutes; I need almost as much time for getting from one gate to the other. Here, you truly can see that FRA is Germany’s biggest airport. Luckily the flight is on time, so the journey can begin. The ten hours across the pond go by quicker than I hoped and we are already touching down in Orlando. Here, sunshine and 32 degrees are waiting for me. The entry also goes smoothly, a taxi is found quickly, too. Now off to the hotel so that I am ready for NPE the next day…
Welcome to NPE
First thing in the morning, I meet all the other Mahloneses: Alan Lavore, the Executive Vice President of Mahlo America Inc., Eric Reber, David Jillson and Frank Fei. Together, we drive to huge exhibition center. The NPE has been in full swing for two days already and lasts another three. The complete plastics industry is meeting here, from extruders over equipment providers to end users. Looking at the rush at the Mahlo booth, you can see that we made a name for ourselves in the US market. Many company key holders have concrete questions regarding their application and the best Mahlo solution for them. The team has its hand full all the time.
Regardless, the Technical Sales Manager Eric Reber takes the time to tour the trade show with me. He explains different production processes to me, where our products come to use, and shows me the booths of our partners and competitors.
But the end of a trade show day doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the day. One evening, for example, we go out for dinner with long term clients in a delicious seafood restaurant. Why not combine business with pleasure?
Because the last day of a trade show is usually a slow one – some exhibitors already begin to dismantle their booth – Alan Lavore, the Executive Vice President of Mahlo America Inc. – gives me a day off. And what are you going to do in Orlando?
Right! You visit one of the numerous amusement parks. I choose Sea World. The park is a mixture of oceanarium, featuring sea lions, dolphins and killer whales, and theme park with different roller coasters and shows. Riding them is as much fun as watching the fascinating show with their famous orcas.
Goodbye Orlando – Hello Spartanburg
After exciting days at the trade show, now we are off to the Mahlo America Inc. headquarter in Spartanburg. Are the other colleagues as nice as the ones I already know? How does a typical American workday run? That’s what I’m most curious about. The first question is answered easily with yes! The welcome is warm and friendly, the famous “Southern hospitality” palpable from the beginning. That continues over the next days. I’m included in all lunch plans; furthermore, my colleagues Ann, Mary and Mary make sure to introduce me to Krispy Kreme Donuts. One of the THE sweet sins here in the South.
The work day is – not totally surprising – similar to a German one. Especially after a week at the trade show, everyone has their hands full. Nevertheless, my co-workers have time for my questions: John explains how the service works here, Mike shows me the Pilot Line with which client samples are tested. Everyone identifies with Mahlo and is fully committed to the company, in some instances for more than 20 years. So there surely is enough material for up-coming stories! With so many new impressions, the week flies by, and before I know it, it is already time to say goodbye. I’ve met so many nice and generous people here that I hopefully have not seen for the last time.
So with this in mind: Take care Spartanburg, see you!