Friday, February 11, 2011 8:46 AM
Guadalajara Day 1 - International Furniture Expo
Today was the first day of the big furniture show at the Guadalajara Expo, a twice annual event bringing furniture manufacturers and distributors from all over Mexico and the world. This is an enormous and very well organized show that apparently draws thousands of buyers every year. I can't be sure whether it is a reflection of the economy of the backlash from the unusual violent attacks that occurred in and around the city just last week, but the show was practically empty. The exhibitors were out in full force but the buyers were scarce. There were a few independents like us and a few groups of 'suits' obviously there representing large hotel chains but really, it was pretty quiet. Considering the cost to rent the space, the expense to set up these mobile showrooms and the shipping, I felt very badly for all the exhibitors this year. Great for us as we had the place practically to ourselves and the rapt attention of every rep, but terrible for their companies. I hope the following days filled up a bit more.
The view of San Francisco from our room
The furniture expo
Press Conference to open the show.
These guys transfer your own photos and designs onto fabric. Cool.
Carlos, our outdoor furniture rep. Super nice guy!
Custom design ceramics with your own colors and patterns. Lovely!
The expo for us was an invaluable experience. As we are now going to be offering several furniture packages to our customers who purchase unfurnished condominiums, it was important that we see and feel the quality of the furniture that we will be offering. Out of the many units we have sold in the past few years, probably 120+ have been unfurnished leaving it up to the buyer to shop for the right pieces, negotiate a decent price, arrange for shipment, take delivery and troubleshoot any problems with the order completely on their own. We knew we could do much better by our buyers if we just went straight to the source. I'm glad we did as we were able to meet the reps and see all the options. At first, I thought it would be very intimidating and difficult to choose who to work with and what furniture to select. In the end, there were some nice things....and a lot of crap. I think everyone is going to be very happy with what we are providing.
After the show, we were starving and treated ourselves to lunch at Santo Coyote, one of the most popular and sought out restaurants in all of Guadalajara. The setting was absolutely stunning and the menu was quite inventive. I would classify it as modern Mexican with a great emphasis placed on using traditional ingredients and seasonings in new ways. The service was outstanding and I can see why this has become a top pick of both National and International tourists. Every cab driver we have spoken to has recommended it. Next time we come to the city and the kids are with us, we'll be sure to come back for dinner and the night shows.
Fresh salsa prepared table-side
Following lunch, we cabbed it back into town and went for a stroll through the downtown historic district.
Cathedral Metropolitana from the Plaza de Armas.
The Municipal Palace of Guadalajara.
The pedestrian walkway leading to the Instituto Cultural Cabanas which house some of Orozco's murals.
Fountain of the Inmolacion de Quetzalcoatl
We strolled for several hours finally making our way back to the Plaza de Armas for the evening's band concert. From there, we enjoyed a quiet drink in the Restaurante La Antigua overlooking the Plaza Guadalajara, watched the city light up and then headed out for dinner at another Guadalajara dining destination, El Fondo de San Miguel. The food was not terrific but we certainly did love the atmosphere. If you happen to find yourself in the city, do go there for a drink or a bottle of wine and maybe an appetizer.
The rotunda in the Plaza de Armas, a gift from France
El Fondo de San Miguel
Exhausted, we returned to our room and tucked in for the night. Tomorrow we have the decorative arts show in Tlaquepaque and a lot more site seeing! Night all.....
Go to: Guadalajara Day 2 - Tlaquepaque
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