Stop the presses. The Life-Changing Products exhibit recently ventured for the first time outside the country, though barely. Doing Niagara Falls, Canada Home and Garden Show put this curator in the position of marketing U.S. products and services to an international audience for the first time. Well, sort of. The border crossing guard asked me if that’s what I was doing.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that many of the products in the exhibit weren’t made in the United States. Aibo, the robot dog, hails from Japan. The fridge cam is made in Great Britain. But I did make sure that all the products in the exhibit were available in Canada. Extreme care was taken to translate the cost of buying the products into Canadian dollars. In presentations, an effort was made to relate temperatures in Celsius, distances in meters.
The bigger news may be that crowds in the exhibit were some of the strongest in the four-year history of the exhibit. Unlike sometimes jaundiced American show-goers, wary of someone trying to sell them something, curious and undaunted Canadian visitors ventured right inside, asking question after question. They were hungry for information about the latest smart home trends. And they told great stories about differences between U.S. and Canadian home markets.
I hope they ask me back. I had a great time.