No, we’re not going to talk about the yellow vests...

France, a country so often praised for its way of life, a country people visit in search of inspiration, is now seen as a place of chaos, violence and disturbance.

We’re not going to talk about how in a recent survey of the Promosalons network, 60% of local offices said that movements like the yellow vests only serve to reinforce the negative perception in their country that France is plagued with social problems and perpetual unrest, fuelling weariness and wariness…

France, a country so often praised for its way of life, a country people visit in search of inspiration, is now seen as a place of chaos, violence and disturbance.

The markets who are potentially most unsettled by this are the US, some Latin American countries, Scandinavia, the Middle East and Gulf nations plus several Asian countries. Oddly, our Japanese office reports that the Carlos Ghosn scandal is now all over the news and has taken the spotlight off the yellow vests – should we be pleased about this, though?

Despite these movements and their extensive coverage in the media around the world, we ended 2018 with very good (indeed, excellent) results for our shows in the last quarter of the year. One of the best-performing shows, and we’ll talk about this later in this Newsletter, was VINITECH in Bordeaux, which recorded a 30% rise in international visitors from countries in the Promosalons network, particularly the US and Australia. Joining forces with its Montpellier ‘alter ego’ SITEVI, held on alternate years, VINITECH in Bordeaux has successfully taken the crown from German competitor Intervitis - and in record time.

Which just goes to show that with a good strategy, promotional tools designed to deliver on goals and collaboration based on a willingness to listen to each other and mutual trust, anything is possible!