Currently we broadcast our Turkish programmes for 2 hours a day on the Hotbird satellite and 24 hours a day on the Internet, but we have no presence on a Turkish language satellite. Both of these are available in Turkey, but are not the primary places people go to watch TV, if you live in Britain it would be like not having our channel on Sky or Freesat!
So, yesterday I went to CEBIT, a trade fair, in Turkey in order to make some contacts who might be able to help SAT-7 secure a satellite channel on a Turkish satellite. It was not an entirely fruitful exercise.
I’m not sure what I thought CEBIT was going to be like (perhaps IBC but smaller?), but it wasn’t as I found it, that’s for sure. The exhibition website was not easy to navigate (I put this down to it being translated from Turkish) and so I suppose I based my expectations on my visits to other trade fairs which tended to be grouped around a common industry or theme . . . not this one.
CEBIT in Turkey was something of a general trade show – for people wanting to do business in Turkey I suppose. So, one minute I was standing next to the TurkSat stand, and the next, the Hello Kitty marketing team from Japan who were looking for distributors in Turkey. (I did learn something though – mobile phone covers are big business). It was all rather odd.
That, and the fact that everything was in Turkish made it rather disorientating. Being English does have a tendency to make you rather lazy – almost everyone speaks English around the world (just smile and look apologetic for your ignorance and then carry on expecting them to understand). But not in Turkey. No, all signage was in Turkish; all brochures were in Turkish; all the people on the stands spoke Turkish. I felt like a complete foreigner, which shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, given that I was!
However, after some perseverance and literally walking every inch of the show I did manage to find a couple of people who might be able to help me. One from the Turkish Small Business Association which is linked to Enterprise Europe Network (probably connected with Business Links or the CBI in the UK) and one from TurkSat (the operator of the Turkish satellite that we would like to broadcast on). But, they were first contacts and might lead nowhere. Still – you have to start somewhere!
And I can now say “Good morning” and “Thank you” in Turkish which will surely come in handy in the future. ☺