November, 11th, 8.00 in the morning: the seventh edition of WConnecta opens its doors in the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, Barcelona. Some of the attendants have already crossed the pleasant path among Hotel Juan Carlos I’s gardens up to the main entrance and are waiting their turn to get the accreditation.
At 9:45, after reunion of colleagues and old acquaintances of profession, here comes the inaugural speech on behalf of Fundación Wtransnet’s Manager, José Mª Sallés, and the special instructions to get the most from the event. Since this moment, it seems to feel like to lose consciousness. The flurry starts, everything goes very fast and the organized chaos takes shape in a way we still could not figure out.
The long speed networking tables, organized by specialties, starts their dance: every 7 minutes a couple, handshakes, exchange of business cards. What do you do?, Especially Germany, a new opportunity is opening, a potential partner, another one with no matching…
Piiiiiii. The acoustic signal that tells us we have to change chair ends our conversation just at the most interesting moment. In the Coffee Area or during the lunch, there will be time to deepen. After first times turmoil, the conversations hectic pace manage again the attendants, who after several changes, move easily while pockets are full of future partners’ business cards.
Meanwhile, in the Cargo Area, everything is working accurately like a Swiss watch. Companies with arranged appointments attend with their services portfolio before logistics operators and companies offering loads with table. There everyone has his 15 minutes of fame, a unique opportunity to get known by the most important European companies.
The Coffee Area, in ferment during all the morning, acts as an improvised office for most. A place for reunions and blind dates, apart from a shelter to gather strength before the overwhelming work turmoil and where actually deals are made.
13:30: time to have a break to gather strength. Reluctantly- most will continue working without a break-, all are leaving their places to reach the gazebo where the lunch is served. The activity will restart at 15.00 and again the chairs dancing. In the afternoon more speed networking, interviews in the Cargo Area and a Special Networking Italy, the guest country , where Italian companies attend potential partners interested in developing their business in the transalpine country.
At six o’clock, the day is over. More than 1.000 transport professionals coming from 23 European countries, 20.400 speed interviews , 1.600 private meetings in the Cargo Area and a stint race to leave WConnecta with the highest number of contacted companies.
The final touch is a cocktail which starts the acts celebrating the 20th anniversary of Wtransnet. It’s not a case the date chosen to celebrate WConnecta 2016. On the 11th of November 1996 deeds of establishment of Wotrant SL Company, that manages all Wtransnet’s activity, were signed. An end of celebration with toast, cake and a huge gratitude to all who made this possible.
Germany will host WConnecta 2017, an eight edition where a definitive move to Europe has been made, giving the opportunity to neighbouring companies. It will be like starting again but with the same nerves of each edition because here experience is not a rank: when you do things with love and being faithful to your format, you can’t avoid feeling butterflies in the stomach as the first time.