Work Cologne: viral trade fair wears me out

“It’s dangerous what you’re doing there…”

Unexpected words from my boss to say to me, but he seemed to speak with genuine concern.

It was lunchtime on the second day the Digital Marketing Exhibition and Conference, and I’d opted for the salmon main in the buffet.

He might have had a point – after all, you can’t spell salmonella without salmon.

Well, an afternoon of dysentery might add a splash of colour to the most uniform of events.

One thing had been immediately clear: for an event that dedicated two days and multiple rooms to discussing the next big thing, breaking through, standing out and being unique, there was an awful lot of people who looked, talked and dressed exactly the same.

All that talk and the most viral thing of the conference was guys who’d paired blue blazers with shirts and dark jeans.

Not all, of course. The more edgy – read: might have designed an app – ditched the shirt for a t-shirt tucked in. While the few guys with hipster beards and a no jackets, obviously in media, were clearly lost and urgently needed removal.

It must be a marketing-communications thing: the blazer says corporate conservative while the jeans scream edgy. Or something.

For my part I’d opted for the no less common nondescript blue suit and pale blue shirt –no tie of course (the look was smart, but relaxed. And if you bought that you’d be wrong on both counts).

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