This computer show in Moscow, was defenitely the most unique show I have ever been to.
It was always very crowded, but that is not unusual. What was unusual is that 30% of the people attending the show were under the age of 15. Although they were defenitely not qualified buyers, they were most definitely interested in anything made outside of the USSR.
This interest manifested itself in some rather unusual ways. There was one booth that started handing out Bick lighters and ball point pens with their logo on them. Now you may ask yourself, what is wrong with that? Nothing actually. The only problem is that the Russians are so starved for goods and anything foreign, that it started a small riot.
Within moments they had a mob around their booth, and were unable to get out. They had to take refuge in the little enclosure that had a door, and get their translator to put up a sign saying that they were all out of pens and lighters. The crowd did not believe them and started to push on the enclosure; fortunately the army arrived and dispersed the croud, shortly after this point.
What had been overlooked, by the people running that booth is that pens and lighters are as good or better than currency. So in efect they were handing out money, what a concept.
The people running our booth did almost the same thing, but they used 20 pounds of California Raisins, instead of pens and lighters. The raisins had been donated by the California Raisin board. They wanted to pass on some good will, and possibly test market them there. Raisins are virtualy unknown in the USSR. The 20 lbs. were gone in less than 15 minutes, and some of the people in the booth were almost trampled to death in the process.
More to come about the nice people we did meet there in the next issue.
Please stay tuned.