Saturday, July 09, 2005

Weekend Blog 4

The weekend blog is off the main topic.

Back From Vacation

My family and I enjoyed two great weeks in Italy and France. I have not posted "live" on this blog in two weeks, but had pre-posted some articles while I was away. I look forward to getting back to writing on the topic of marketing, networking, branding and sales. In addition, my book: "Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Keep and Grow Your Business Relationships" is now complete and on it's way to the printer. I am excited that this 18 month project will soon result in a tangible product. You can pre-purchase copies at

I had never been to Europe, and was amazed by how incredible it was to see all the famous sights. My favorite was Siena, Italy. It was a small town and not as crowded with tourists as Rome, Florence and Paris. The interesting thing was that hundreds of years ago Siena and Florence competed for business. Florence won the battle for commerce, and much of the growth from the renaissance era forward took place there. Florence has much of the great art and architecture of Europe, but Siena was preserved as a Mid-Evil hill top city. The beautiful, BIG church at the heart of the city, The Duomo, was completed before Columbus discovered America. It was amazing to see all of the buildings in Europe that are so incredible and yet so many hundreds of years old. We often forget that not all the great strides in civilization took place in the last century!

Our visit to Siena was during "Il Palio". It is an annual festival, which takes place in July and August, that draws thousands of visitors to the small town to watch a horse race. The seventeen contrade (neighborhoods of Siena) compete for the annual victory. If Italy is ever in your travel plans, you should try to be in Seina during the Palio. The thing I noticed most about this event was that there was no commercialization. No corporate sponsors on the program, no business banners hanging from the buildings and the jockeys did not have dozens of logos sewn onto their silks (think NASCAR). Think of one sporting event you have ever attended in the United States (including your children's little league game!) where there were no corporate sponsors. I was torn by how refreshing this was to see....AND the marketing/sales blood in my veins screaming out "WAIT....they are missing some fantastic financial and branding opportunities!!!!

One last thing, we traveled Europe with our two daughters, ages eight and three. This was limiting in some ways (not all restaurants are kid friendly in Europe....especially in Paris), and we could not always move as fast..... but the kids were great and had a lot of fun. As I told my wife.....if we wanted to travel Europe with our adult children, we needed to wait twenty years!!!

Have a great weekend.

Thom Singer

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