Cannes Yachting Festival and me.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by one of the leading companies in the luxury yacht charter industry to the Cannes Yachting Festival. What a privilege I declare!! As you can imagine, I was particularly nervous due to, not only my lack of experience, but also the fact that this was THE Cannes Yachting Festival. I was starting at the top for goodness sake. If you are not familiar with the Cannes Yachting Festival, which I was not prior to this show, let me give you a brief idea. The Cannes boat show is Europe's largest, in-the-water boat show and welcomes over 500 amazing boats: from super yachts, to sailing vessels, dinghies to power boats presented in all their glory. There were also stalls that littered the pathways, selling any and every thing to captivate any marine desire.
Upon arrival in the stunning Côte d’Azur, we decided to immediately check out the location prior to the opening day. We wanted to be prepared and needed to get an idea of the set up and what else would be required. Well!! As you can imagine, It was pure mayhem. Just to find a parking space was a drama. With delivery trucks and lorries struggling to get as close as possible to the entrance to offload goods and police getting very hot under the collar with participants pleading to park in very inconvenient places, I suggested to my colleagues they drop me off on the curb of the entrance with all the boxes of marketing supplies so that they can sort out the parking dilemma. Not sure if that was such a great idea, at least for me, as I sat baking under the Riviera sun for what seemed like half an hour but must have been much less.
Anyway, what must have been only fifteen minutes into my unnecessary tanning session, my colleagues returned and we were finally able able to enter the chaotic compound. My eyes hopped from movement to moment, dodging hard working men and women all of whom were trying to get the tents and displays ready for in the morning.
All of a sudden, it dawned on me that the majestic display was not actually taking place on land, but on the sea. As a result, my attention was sharply drawn to all the pure luxury firmly secured to endless docks. Yachts, powerboats, super yachts each more dazzling and impressive than the other tantalizing my eyes with every 10 steps I made. I was boldly catapulted into a world I knew existed but could not possible conceive in my most elaborate dreams. The wealth oozing from this festival was certainly shocking for me and a huge, awesome eye-opener.
After being in awe over the lavishness of the yachts, my attention was drawn to the human aspect of the show. I was expecting pathways full of people from a different dimension who didn’t care to take a glance below their upturned noses to endure my presence. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. The dancing tune of various languages tickled one’s ears while their curiosity was as fervent as mine. There was no sign of pretension or elitism. The focus was work. Whether it was to provide a service or to buy one, all haughtiness and arrogance was left behind. Contacts were established and some friends made... a recipe for a successful show.