Like Caesar, I only fully understood the implications of the Ides of March when it was too late. It was 1995 and I was already in Hannover.
Snow was falling and I was up incredibly early in the morning after a few hours of sleep to catch a bus to the show they call CeBIT.
I was younger then, had colleagues rather than a young son to deprive me of my sleep, and like many soldiers drafted into the conflict in Vietnam, did not know why I was going or what my targets were. I was wet behind the ears, as was demonstrated by the fact that I had volunteered to cover the show, rather than being commanded.
But as the chill wind revitalised the quadraphonic hangover I was experiencing, I soon realised why my editor had smiled when I proffered myself for the mission. Until I had seen the cold light of a Hannoverian winter's day, I was actually looking forward to the trip. I certainly felt very important. My email inbox was full of invitations to visit people, have lunch, drink champagne and attend parties. On paper, it had sounded like fun.
But crossing the Atlantic in the Titanic probably sounded like fun. After two gruelling days of interviews and meetings, of early starts after late nights 'networking' with the IT industry's finest, trade rage was setting in. The noise, the sheer scale of the place was phenomenal.
So why do we still go to CeBIT? Because it remains the premier European event for news, contact building and gossip. It still generates important leads - vital in today's challenging economic climate. This is why I have clocked up four visits.
It may be tough, but we go every year to celebrate all that is significant in the IT industry. So like a moth to the flame, CRN will be in attendance as the show starts this week.
But if anyone asks you to go to Hangar 18 to check out some out-of-this-world technology, politely decline.
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