I feel the nervous energy as I get moving on 28 April, the first day for ESE in Brussels. I leave hotel by 0730 making sure that everyone I committed to get passes for either had them or knew where they were.

The Metro journey is uneventful and as I get to the stand the first thing I notice is that the signs promised to be fixed early have not been done – hope this is not going to be the start of a bad day...

People start arriving and we sort out the usual teething issues. Who goes where, what signs can they have, who gets to use which deli display and introducing those who do not know each other. Things start taking shape but with half an hour to go the signs still have not arrived. The word is that Greenpeace have blocked off a number of streets making it difficult for transport around the Exhibition site. No point worrying about something you can do little about – disappointment but must concentrate on things under our control. Still it is very annoying none the less.

Have all the long hours of planning over the last few months been worth it, will it all come together – these are the thoughts as the clock ticks to 10am opening time. Throat is feeling dry, perspiration flows from the brow. Do we have an electric adapter spare, do we have a spare stapler, do we have a band-aid and where are the signs, etc are the questions.

As the day moves on everyone seems happy. As the day moves on the signs arrive, all issues are resolved and the stand is busy.

As you look around you have to say “Where is the Financial Crisis?” because the amount of money expended at these shows is simply staggering and despite all the gloom and doom that you read here, at least, companies and countries are putting on a great show. People are flowing in and in our area there is not much spare time as everyone moves on from one discussion to another.

At the end of the day things have gone well - maybe lets even say better than well. Yes the stand can be better but with what we had I think we have done well. Australian Government came good with Aussie Flag and WA Government group with Minister for Fisheries, Hon Norman Moore, leading are keen to assist us for the future as they have seen the need to be involved at this prestigious event. It is great that the stand was busy, companies who made the commitment to make this happen all had good days and the cocktail party went well. As the day comes to a close there are feelings of excitement, contentment and RELIEF....

No time to relax - 2 days to go and must keep it all going. Have to avoid late night tonight, despite the many offers, and need to review the day and the planning for Day 2 - still a long way to go and legs are already starting to feel the pressure of long days standing on concrete.

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