Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trade Show Memories

Hello from the GreenBox Intern. It's been a heckuva weekend.

As you loyal readers well know, the GreenBox was a featured product at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of NY. The show was a tremendous success for ECO Incorporated and the GreenBox. I can’t say the same for myself, however.

The first day of the massive and well-attended trade show was this past Sunday. Now, I should say that I normally don’t work on the Sabbath, preferring to pass the day in quiet contemplation of the divine mysteries. I was persuaded to relax this policy when GreenBox CEO William Walsh told me that if I didn’t show up, I would meet God personally and I could “whine to Him” all I wanted (capitalization mine). Setting aside my religious convictions for the sake of the company, I decided that the inevitable financial success of the GreenBox would allow me to purchase not only a vacation home in Montauk, but also a papal dispensation for selling soap on a Sunday. I decided to take Will’s existential threat to heart and lend a helping hand.

So it was that I endured an early-morning commute on the Day of Rest and arrived at the Javits Center bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. As Marketing Director Ned Kensing bustled about setting up the goods at the GreenBox booth, I went to the registration desk to claim my Exhibitor Pass for the show. Immediately, confusion reigned – my name was not on the list of official exhibitors with Imperial Bag & Paper. A quick phone call to CFO Jennifer Wright cleared everything up – CEO William Walsh had put me on the list as “Seymour Butts”. I was forced to endure the indignity of repeating this moniker to the attractive young woman behind the counter. She did her best not to laugh while issuing me my pass, and I made a mental note to put a tack on Will’s chair the next time I was in the office.

In this humiliating manner I finally obtained access to the sprawling convention floor. For the rest of this account, please keep in mind that I was wearing a GreenBox T-shirt with a laminated card pinned to the front emblazoned with the words “Seymour Butts – Imperial Bag & Paper”.

As I descended the escalator to the convention floor, I was struck by the size and scale of the show – hundreds of booths, thousands of people, and lots of food on offer. Just as I was about to sample a particularly succulent morsel of prime rib, Marketing Director Ned Kensing grabbed me by the elbow and dragged me through the teeming masses over to the Imperial Bag & Paper booth. Little did I know that was the closest I’d come to nourishment for the rest of the day.

We arrived at the booth. Talk about prime real estate – centrally located and impressively appointed, the IB&P booth was without a doubt the centerpiece of the entire show. Ned and Jen held court, demonstrating the GreenBox for an endless succession of convention-goers – industry folks, the media, and everyday consumers who all seemed blown away by the simplicity and functionality of the product.

As usual, I slowly faded in to the background in the face of my older brother’s charm and charisma. As I watched Ned demonstrate the GreenBox for a busty young woman who seemed to have left the top portion of her outfit at home, I was transported back to my youth. You see, Ned was always the center of attention – good-looking, well muscled, and with a disdain for authority which applied to both our parents and to the penal code of New York State. In short, he was a charmer, possessed of a zest for living that would someday trouble countless teachers and mental health professionals. Who knew it would someday make him in to an incredible salesman and the most dynamic presence at the International Restaurant and Food Service Show of NY? More to the point, what was I doing here? How could I possibly compete with this Adonis of the food packaging industry?

Fact is, I couldn’t. I was quickly forgotten as Jen and Ned worked their magic. At one point a higher-up with Imperial Bag & Paper caught my eye and pointed sternly at the “No Loitering” sign on the outside of the booth. Indignant, I flashed my pass and then remembered the name thereon – surely he would realize that no one named “Seymour Butts” was in his employ. Seeing the suspicious glances I was beginning to receive from the “suits” in the booth, I decided I had better hoof it back to the office and stick to blogging – I wasn’t the face of this company, after all (if anything, I'm the soul).

And so I left Jen and Ned to their work – and believe you me, they were working. Over the course of the expo, they tirelessly deomstrated the functionality and the mission of the GreenBox to hundreds and hundreds of people. And they’ll be doing the same this week in Las Vegas at the International Pizza Expo.

As for me, I decided that I wasn’t cut out for trade shows, so I’d be staying behind in NYC to hold down the fort. That also has something to do with the fact that no one invited me to Las Vegas. Either way, I’ll be providing continued coverage of the GreenBox National Tour – a tour that is laying the groundwork for a revolution in the pizza industry. Very soon, this nation will be wondering “How in tarnation did we put up with that standard pizza box for all of these years?” Think about it – if they hadn’t updated cars or elevators for half a century, would we stand for it? I think not.

Stay tuned for updates, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook – I’ll be posting pictures and more from both shows…as soon as Ned decides to answer one of my phone calls.


The GreenBox Intern


  1. Sean:
    You're a riot and I love your writing style. Sorry I missed you at the show. I have a nice selection of photos. If you like, I'll email them to you.

    Scott Shrem
    Sales Rep
    Imperial Bag & Paper Company

  2. Hey what's your name,

    Nice commentary but get back to work!


    Ps I'll be looking for the tack