By Maxence Gorregues
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They are young, in the prime of life and work for an institution in Caen (Calvados). Jonathan and David Lasri of Boucherie Marcel proudly announced on social networks their participation in the Caen Fair 2022. “Ephemeral restaurant, good things to eat and drink, friends and a good atmosphere! We can’t wait, ”they launched in a message posted online a few days before the opening of the biggest economic event of the start of the school year, accompanied by a photo where smiles were in order. “It was a first for us last year, and humanly it was super rewarding,” comments Jonathan Lasri, delighted to return this year.
“The Parc expo becomes a village”
The Marcel butcher will hold the restaurant located at the entrance to the main hall, with a terrace. “The idea is to bring the quality of the butcher’s products, to have a good time around the table. The fair is of course an economic meeting, but we realize by talking about it around us, that it is a moment that also appeals to those who want to go out, as if they were going out in town. The Parc expo becomes a village. »
To this large village, Catherine Rose from the eponymous store, specializing in furniture, decided to return as well. “The Fair offers us very significant visibility with visitors from all over Calvados, especially for us who are located in Ouistreham”, she explains.
It captures a different clientele. We are always surprised, and this has been the case in recent years, to see people visiting us at the store six or seven months after the Fair, explaining to us that they discovered us at the Parc expo.
The Fair remains a showcase
This visibility argument is put forward by many exhibitors. Many even wonder: “And if we missed the Fair this year, would customers think it was because we ceased our activity? “.
The mayor of Caen, Joël Bruneau, is convinced that the Fair remains very useful to traders, craftsmen and communities, because it is a “showcase of the economic activity of very large Caen. It is a privileged moment of meetings with new customers, ensuring a not insignificant part of the annual turnover. “According to Caen Events, exhibitors come back every year at 80% because “the model is essential, according to David Brad, the director of the Fair. In a market where business communication is partly provided by digital media, there is a clear desire to return to fair-type events, to feed the need to meet new customers that they do not see in traffic. digital or during open houses. Nearly 400 exhibitors are present this year, including around forty in the famous rue du Bagou.
Return to foreground
Also, the city councilor from Caen underlines a wind of renewal which smiles at the Fair this year. After two editions largely disrupted by the Covid-19, the public is welcomed under normal conditions. The exhibition-event, devoted this year to the Vikings, has also made a comeback. “We feel the dynamism of the organizers in their desire to offer new things, to develop the traditional form of fairs, particularly in terms of entertainment and on the aspect of civic engagement. »
This impression is shared by Catherine Rose who feels a craze. “I put a lot of hope on this edition, the organizers have done a lot to ensure that everything goes well, and I feel that we are talking about it a lot this year…”
Some, however, chose not to participate. “Les Vitrines de Caen will not be at the Fair”, confirms Sylvie Orcier, the president of the merchants’ association. “We have fewer and fewer members who want to do it. She concedes: “It’s not easy to reinvent yourself in a world that is changing so much. The Fair is a big machine. What can be its economic plan with such an infrastructure? »
In the meantime, the president of the Vitrines de Caen “hopes for success” for this edition. She hopes that Christian Sébire and Ornavik will manage to “relaunch the Fair”. According to her, it’s off to a good start “with a somewhat immersive exhibition, workshops and games, it can match”. Anyway, “we have to review the formats. The Covid-19 is forcing us to rethink our plans, to combine shopping and well-being for example”.
Well-being has rightly fueled the thinking of the organizers. It must be fueled by the on-site entertainment and “also by a feeling of escape”, hopes David Brad. The exhibition must contribute to this, as must the various activities, to be found in particular in the circus tent with workshops to be made up, have their hair done or tattooed, see craftsmen working on leather or knives. “After the start of the school year and in a complicated international context, we all need to escape. The Fair must offer breathing space. In any case, this is the ambition of the team that organizes it. » A team of 25 employees throughout the year, which receives the reinforcement of 25 temporary workers a few weeks before, during and after the Fair. “We believe in it very strongly. The 2022 edition promises to be very good,” concludes David Brad.
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