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Products are the key to build strong reputation of the countries

The nations have competed since ever in the building of their reputation – of the winners, discoverers or craftsmen. The value was added by those qualities, which in the given cultural and historic context, were important for the societies or their aspirations.

From the days of the industrial revolution, the role of military potential has given way to economy and its main pillar – production; the importance of the building of the states’ reputation was on the rise. What we produced and how those products changed our lives for the better became increasingly important. This is because the products depict nations. Tourism, human potential or housing conditions are not as popular an experience as the opportunity to be with products, that are within the reach of everyone, everywhere and at almost any price.

A very good example are the International Exhibitions, inseparably connected with industrial revolution – competition arena in all the production areas.

The exhibitions laid grounds for the promotion of such discoveries as the telephone, typing machine or elevators, not to mention such jewels of architecture as the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. All exhibitions presenting cultural, scientific and technical accomplishments of the countries and of the nations were accompanied by a huge buzz, and comments (also today) echoed widely.

The International Exhibitions Bureau was established in 1928 and started operation in 1931, to assure quality and to supervise the rights of the exhibitors and of the visitors. Over 50 Exhibitions have been organised up to date under the auspices of BIE, which affiliates today 168 members. For over 160 years the Exhibition has promoted accomplishments of the nations – starting from London 1851, through numerous extraordinary cities including Paris, Vienna, Chicago to the record Shanghai, which was visited by more than 73 million people in 2010.

Poland has often enchanted with its products and exhibition pavilions, not second to any of the best. Besides the Grand Prix award granted for the exhibition jewel (ultra-fast steam locomotive of national production), we have also shown such curios as the railway car with bar and dancing floor, with cinema or the railway car with surgery room. Those were solutions for travellers, which would not dishonour even the most luxurious saloon carriages moving today on the railways.

The exhibition pavilions were the kick-off to the international markets for such companies as Wedel or Orbis and artists such as Zofia Stryjeńska or Antoni Wajwód. Promoted were photo exhibitions encouraging to visit Poland: Warsaw, Cracow, Baltic Sea.  Demonstrated at the fairs was bentwood furniture manufactured by Polska Fabryka Mebli Giętych – Radomsko – Bielsko – Warsaw or products from the Linen Factory in Żyrardów and ceramics from the Porcelain Factory in Ćmielów.

The role of products in the shaping of the country’s reputation is very important, since we project their features onto our  perception of a country, and for consumers, the experience means more than rational analysis. Hence, Poland’s efficient promotion must also take into a consideration the promotion of Polish products.