I couldn’t readily agree when I received a phone call from my editor when he told me that I got some jobs to perform on March 25-27th. Well, as usual, I was a little excited. But couldn’t guarantee that I was able to join the event; which was a fair, or Car Expo, to be more specific.
It was about two weeks ahead of the fair titled as “Autoline Car Expo 2010” at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (Former name: Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Center).
When we — the contributors of technology section — were called to attend a meeting at the office, I was late then. As a result, I missed everything that was discussed and directed by the office. I was a little confused, too. It was a big car fair, and bdnews24.com set up a stall inside it where we have to work. Our job was simple: convincing people to subscribe to our Breaking news or Morning news service through short message services (SMS). However, it wasn’t that easy.
The First day of Experience
On the first day of the Expo, 25th March, I reached BICC at around 4PM. I was late by an hour as my shift began at 3. However, that didn’t create any problem. As I entered the expo, it wasn’t tough finding our stall. But the arrangement of the gorgeous cars outside the center took my attention. Man, just see them! They were wonderful.
As I entered our stall, there were Sumon bhai, Mintu bhai and other contributing reporters present. They tried to make me understand what my job was. (I still didn’t know why I was there!) I was a little worried then. Luckily, I didn’t take much time to understand what to do and how to do after I saw what Sumon bhai was doing with the visitors of the Expo.
The job was simple: Just asked anyone to have a visit our stall. When someone came, we just had to introduce ourselves in case they don’t know about bdnews24.com. And then we needed to let them know that we were offering an SMS-based news service. It didn’t cost much to receive breaking news from bdnews24.com as they happen. In exchange, we had an immediate present — a keyring with bdnews24.com logo and a coupon. Raffle draw winner would win a multimedia mobile phone set. That made it worth subscribing.
To our surprise, a huge number of people didn’t subscribe either because they didn’t need to know whatever is happening to the country or they didn’t have GrameenPhone or Aktel. Yes, it was our limit that we couldn’t subscribe anyone who doesn’t have a GP or Aktel connection. Yet we tried to reach as many visitors as possible. Many used to come to our stall by their will, many didn’t even if we had called them.
I had a totally different and new kind of experience that day. But I was quite tired at the end of the day and went back to home as I also mentally prepared myself for the next day’s work.
The 2nd Day
On the next day, 26th March, I went to BICC early in the morning. About 15 minutes before the gate was open to visitors. I was able to enter since I had identity card and gate pass. I was the first to reach there and so I had to setup the stall. Luckily, Mintu bhai came there within a few minutes and we both set up the stall for that day. It felt a little like we were opening a shop in the morning and our customers were on their way towards us! No joke; what we were there to do was a lot like what shopkeepers do! The difference was that we were there as representatives instead of salesmen 😛 and it was a high-budgeted fair; not a market. 😀
I’ve missed to say that 26th March is the Independence day of Bangladesh. So, this day was a national holiday which made us predict that there would be more visitors on the Expo that day. And we were proved right.
Nothing mentionable happened that day. We all were doing attentively what we were supposed to do.When there was almost no visitor around, we took our seats and had chat.
Oh, I forgot to say that I broadcast our stall and the scene from the Expo around us live on internet! I chose ustream.tv for broadcasting live. There was no good quality webcam. So, I had to use the one that was built-in with the mini laptop the office gave us. It was fun broadcasting ourselves on the Internet, despite the fact that almost no one watched us! 😦
As the previous day, I went to the home at night. I was too tired as I spent all the day there without any break. So, as soon as I reached home. I forgot my dinner and fell asleep. (Mother said that she fed me dinner although I have no idea when I ate.)
The Last day
There was a problem on the last day. The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had a program on BICC, so the activities of the Expo was postponed from 12PM to 5PM. We planned not to go to the Expo for morning shift except Mintu bhai. So, Sumon bhai and I reached the center at around 5.30 PM, but we weren’t allowed to enter then as the Prime Minister was still there. The arrival of the prime minister caused great loss of the Expo. We all felt that practically.
When we were allowed to enter and open our stall, it was already evening and we were not expecting a good number of visitors that day. Later we came to know that the Expo’s time was extended to 10PM night. But there was not many visitors around. However, I have a memorable incident of that day. My good luck that I didn’t skip going to the Expo on the last day. Otherwise I would have missed that great thing.
While I’m writing this, it’s almost a month over. It’s midnight and so I can’t keep my eyes open anymore. If you’re wondering what that great and memorable incident was, just stay in touch with me and my blog. Maybe someday I will tell you all about this; not now. This post was written just to share with everyone that I had a totally different experience after attending the Expo. I look forward to attend any future programs like this. I think, dealing with public of mostly general level is fun, although sometimes some folks make us angry. The problem is, we cannot express our anger. We still have to show that we’re smiling and we never mind!