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Distree kicks off in Monte Carlo

While trade shows like CeBIT have been dying a slow death over the past 5 years, some trade shows are absolutely booming. Basically, it comes down to what is being shown, who the audience is and how does anyone make money. KitGuru dons sun block (optimistically) and investigates.

Distree XXL is a trade event that takes place each year in February, at the enormous Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo, in the principality of Monaco. It’s important to say that this is not France. Much as the French have a quirky sense of humour, they don’t often try to charge you £40 for a beer and burger or £4,000 a month to rent a single bedroom flat. For that kind of humour, you definitely need the fun folks of Monaco.

Just so you know, Distree XXL is the brainchild of organisational genius Farouq Hemraj.

Distree XXL's genius creator, Farouq - contemplating his awesome weekly takings no doubt

OK, scene set, so who’s actually here?

We're thinking of a song by Pink Floyd - but can't quite remember the name. Something about walls maybe?

Well the list of suppliers keen to show off their latest products numbers more than 112 (to be honest, we stopped counting accurately around 80 – so it could be a lot more). These vendors have all paid a minimum of €15,000 for a small table and 2 chairs. So why the queue for the small, basic, plastic seats?

The answer is in the audience that attends.

You can’t buy a ticket – you need to be invited.

The only people being invited have multi-million pound spends at their disposal and a single deal at Distree will see your table and 2 chairs paid for – for many, many years to come.

Typically horrific view from a balcony at Distree XXL. Also, two local birds that did not pay to get in.

While it is certainly important to excite consumers, shows like The Gadget Show, CeBIT and the like can only generate so much revenue. To really succeed in the technology market, the person who needs to think your products are cool, is the chief buyer at eBuyer/Best Buy/Carphone Warehouse/PC World etc.

Distree XXL Monte Carlo is where the real money is

High spending families might buy four iPads. High spending commercial buyers are likely to be ordering in the tens of thousands.

So how many meetings can be arranged in 3.5 days, if you really, really try?   Last year, almost 6,500 buying meetings too place in Monte Carlo. That’s a stunning piece of organisation in anyone’s book.

So there you have it. Over the next four days, plenty of palms will be pressed, relationships reinvigourated and – if all goes well with the million pound orders – everyone will digest their £40 beer & burger, thinking it tasted ‘just about right’.

KitGuru says: We love a well run show, and that’s exactly what Distree is. With operations in the Middle East etc already underway, it seems that the owners, Farouq and Frédéric will be setting their sights on Latin America next. With revenues of more than $4m for a 3.5 day event, shouldn’t we all be running events? Jealous? Us? You bet!

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