Let’s face it: we miss the IPM in Essen! Europe’s largest horticultural business-to-business fair was supposed to be held this week, but was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
An inevitable decision, also in light of the impressive number of visitors from all over the world who every year, in the last week of January, reach the city of Essen to participate in the important event.
For four days, the Messe Essen congress center is transformed into a true microcosm of greenery, a place of encounters and knowledge, of colors, sounds and, why not, even flavors.
We, who have worn out the soles of our shoes every year to visit the pavilions, miss this year not to be able to do so.
We miss the pleasure of seeing our plants displayed in our partners’ stands, but also of meeting customers, creating a relationship with them that goes beyond an icy purchase or sale order.
We lack that spirit of brotherhood that unites Italians exhibitors, and that intercultural instinct that makes us open to the diversity of the world.
Because fairs, let’s face it, above all have the function of creating bridges, shortening distances, maintaining the warmth of human contact.
In the last year we have had to necessarily learn to work with technologies, to meet on web platforms, to send photos and videos and to receive them. We rejoiced for every like received, we got angry through text or voice messages on Whatsapp. But we have also lost the pleasure of a handshake or a lunch or dinner with friends.
How many evenings spent in Essen, away from home, but in the company of friends! Because of our work commitments, we, Sicilian horticulturalists, risk not meeting and fraternizing except during a fair.
Professionals during the day, friends in the evening, but always with a smile on our face.
And while nostalgia assails us, awakening pleasant memories in our minds, we cannot help but look forward to the next appointment, scheduled for the week from 25 to 28 January 2022, with the hope that then the pandemic will be only a distant memory.