The Home Show, French style
We used to watch a lot of Home Garden Television (HGTV) where our favorite show was House Hunters International. When they would feature a location in Europe we would always record it so that we could later pretend that we were the ones that were looking for a home overseas. Every spring in Atlanta there is a huge 3-day home improvement exhibition that always features one or more of the hosts from this TV network and we usually went just to see what was new and maybe catch a glimpse of a “star”. This weekend at the exhibition hall that’s a 5-minute walk from where we live was the Salon de l’immobilier et de l’habitat de Carcassonne (short version: Home Show) so we just had to go.
When I saw the ad for the exhibition online the first thing that struck me was that the entrance was free. All those years in Atlanta we had to pay a nominal fee to get in so this was already getting off to a good start. They were having prize drawings for tablet computers plus a portable hot tub; so far so good. Out of curiosity I went to the show’s website and looked at the section for potential exhibitors that explained what they would receive as part of the exhibition including a fully furnished booth with lights, inclusion in the catalog, free Wi-Fi, and “the possibility to organize daily cocktails on your stand”. Hmmm, are those to benefit the customers or the vendors?
The sponsors did a great job of assembling a mix of home repair people, landscapers, kitchen and bath installers, real estate and insurance agencies, banks, and organismes de crédit whom we might call “lenders”. We made the circuit all around the exhibition floor getting a friendly bonjour from just about everyone we saw. There was one real estate booth where the hosts made the extra effort to engage us in conversation so we chatted for a bit, exchanged contact information, and the gentleman said he’d be giving us a call. The attached photo of a house two blocks away looks like a place that we could call “home”.