A product launch and a fosse conference, scary toilets but no cocktails.
What could be better than a few days by the coast? A few days by the coast, with a product launch and a fosse conference thrown in. I was so excited – I’d never been to the med. and had visions of cocktails by the beach following a hard day of socialising and networking. Yes, I was actually looking forward to it. And, you know what? It all happened, everything except the cocktails by the beach that is!
Yes, October was the month of the 11th annual fosse convention (11èmes Assises Nationales
de l’Assainissement Non Collectif) down in Alès, this year to be proceed by the PureStation product launch a little further up the coast at Mèze. We go to these conferences each year and as you can expect it’s a load of stalls demonstrating waste water treatment system and a whole load of people talking effluent! But, we do go every year so we can meet up with our manufacturers and make sure that we’re up to date with the latest developments and the newest systems. And this year I thought we’d make the most of it, being so near the coast it would be great if we got a bit of down time, a time to relax and chill after working so hard all year. Me and my wishful thinking.
We left on Tuesday morning for the 5 hour drive to Méze, thinking this would leave us plenty of time to get to the hotel and settle in before meeting for the product launch at 4o’clock that afternoon. Not quite, we actually got to the hotel at 3.15 leaving us just enough time to drop our bags off, reset the satnav and head for the Glynwed warehouse thirty minutes drive away. The product launch was, however, really good and well worth the stress of getting to it. We got to see the great new products, the PS6 and the PS9V (details will be on the website soon), and we got to talk to the amazing PureStation design team who explained everything about the systems and all the product enhancements and developments they had made. The whole team were so passionate about what they do that they leave you wondering what it is they’ll design next (it’s all hush hush but if they design what they’re hoping to and it gets passed for use in France they’ll blow most of the competition out of the very purified water). We then had a presentation of the new systems from their marketing manager and had a tour of the warehouse and each and every one we spoke to on the PureStation team was fantastic, not only incredibly knowledgeable but also immensely proud of everything they do. The PureStation team then took us all out to dinner at a beautiful port side restaurant in Bouzigues on the étang de Thau overlooking the largest oyster beds I have ever seen. Unfortunately, the quality of the cooking didn’t match the quality of the setting but we all left that evening upbeat and happy if a little hungry.
The following day was the 1hour 30 minute drive to Ales for the fosse conference. As we were not exhibitors we didn’t need to get there too early so after a run along the beautiful port and a leisurely breakfast at the Palms hotel (highly recommended) we set off. The conference itself was pretty good and whilst Clint went off to talk to manufacturers, I attended a couple of the lectures that had been organised. There didn’t seem to be as many new products or companies as there had been in previous years but being there made us realise something quite special – the manufacturers we work with are some of the very best out there with the best products and the best forward thinking ideas. That night we stayed in a lovely hotel which was unfortunately near a town that was closed so it was a pizza for dinner and we set off back home the following morning. No cocktails, no chillaxing. Was it worth it? Definitely
The only other unusual event in October was, of course, Halloween which always brings out the big kid in me. I got together a whole load of stories of scary things found in toilets and sewers from your bog standard (get it?) rat to aliens and giant mutant alligators and using “hootsuite” posted these stories and some very freaky photos on twitter throughout the day. We got some great feedback and the pumpkin knitted toilet cover was such a success it’s still the company photo on our Facebook page.
So what can we look forward to in November? Well, November 19 is World Toilet Day so I’m currently on the lookout for the best and worst toilet humour around but for those of you wanting professional comedians take a look at the WaterAid website and their “wet yourself laughing” campaign and vote for the best of some very bad jokes. Urine for a real treat! (ha ha). Also, we’ll be launching the Fosse France Solutions mascot and he’ll be sharing his story and some very grand thoughts with us. I’ll let you know how it all goes in next month’s newsletter