Not Dry January, or Veganuary, but ‘Planuary’

17 February 2020


I’m writing this in mid-to-late January, and so, inevitably, my social media feeds are gradually filling with jokes and memes about how interminably long the month seems to last.


I’m writing this in mid-to-late January, and so, inevitably, my social media feeds are gradually filling with jokes and memes about how interminably long the month seems to last.

‘Thirty days hath September, April, June and November; all the rest have 31, except for January, which has several hundred’ was one; a photo of Gollum from Lord of the Rings waiting, according to the caption, for his January payday to roll round was another.

It’s true that, after the Christmas break and faced with a lack of daylight and cold, wet weather, this time of year can feel like a challenge. However, it can also be a useful time for getting plans in place for the year ahead.

I’ve personally somehow managed to have booked two holidays for 2020 already—including going back to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in July, for the town’s HebCelt music festival—but I won’t daydream about that for too long, at the risk of turning this column into the written equivalent of a holiday slide-show.

More relevantly to our industry, it’s a good time to finalise plans for the year in terms of travel and content. For me, initial plans for January and February are to visit a few companies here in the UK, to learn more about the current health of the British market, both in terms of domestic activity and the potential for export sales. You’ll be able to read a compiled analysis of that in our April issue.

Then we reach trade show season, when the international exhibitions start taking place for the year. I’ll be attending Modex in Atlanta, Georgia in March—which is, slightly unfortunately from my point of view, the same week as the increasingly-important Logimat. Given that the latter is in Stuttgart, Germany, it wasn’t possible to plan to attend both—I did look at getting an overnight flight to Stuttgart direct from Atlanta, but decided that I might arrive so sleep-deprived that I would end up nodding off into my coffee rather than gathering any useful information at the show.

So, while I’m in the USA, one of my colleagues will be attending Logimat. If it’s as good as last year’s show—or indeed, if it continues on its upwards trajectory and gets even bigger and better—then there will be plenty to report on. Similarly with Modex, I’m excited to be catching up with companies and developments in the North American industry.

The following month—April—sees Cemat take place in Hannover, in conjunction with the Messe Hannover show. Cemat last took place in 2018, and as long as you don’t try to stay in nearby Laatzen—I can pretty much guarantee without even checking that every room in the entire town will be fully booked already—there was plenty to see and discuss, with our sector requiring at least half a hall to itself.

And from then onwards, there’s more time to plan individual visits to companies across the globe. If you’ve read some of the profiles I’ve written for Hoist based on visits I’ve made and are interested in opening your doors to the magazine, please drop me a line.

And for details of our other editorial plans for the year, our Media Pack is available via our website or sales team.