“A First, But Not a Last Welcome to France”
It was the first, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Expatica.com launched the very first Welcome to France Fair at the Carrousel du Louvre yesterday with more than 50 stands representing companies and organizations that an expatriate would want and need to make life in France as enjoyable as possible.
The Carrousel du Louvre is an impressive venue for such an event. When you enter, you may walk past the inverted pyramid built in 1989 designed by Sino-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei which weighs 180 tonnes, measures 16 meters on each side and is 7 meters high. It is undoubtedly one of the city’s most stunning structures pouring light into the underground entrance to the Louvre. From the other direction, you may walk through the vast hall past the unearthed archeological remains of the “Charles V complex” revealing the city’s 14th-century ramparts.
John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co., London, and I shared Stand #1 — the first one at the entrance. Janie Howell, Yolanda Robins and Lynda Sydney were on hand to greet the attendees.
Hundreds of friends of Parler Paris and French Property Insider stopped by to say hello and ask questions about all sorts of immigration, lifestyle, legal and property issues, including Danièle Thomas Easton, Consul of France in Philadelphia and Wilmington (pictured with Yolanda Robins and third Philadelphian) and Pascal Fonquernie, Director of Parismarais.com (pictured with Lynda Sydney while John and Janie talk to attendees). Americans, British, Irish, Australians, New Zealanders, Scottish…and a host of other Anglophones transplanted in Paris paraded in and visited the stands, talked with exhibitors and each other, walking out with their Expatica bags over their shoulders filled with goodies. Many had their children with them, in strollers and in tow — but the one that won the prize was a pup in a baby tote strapped to the master’s chest!
Other exhibitors chatting it up included Parler Paris colleagues Lorin Kalisky’s Franglo.com site of free classified ads for Paris and France, Olivier Magny’s O-Chateau Wine Tasting, Patricia Laplante Collins’ Paris Soirées/Paris Network and Democrats Abroad.
Throughout the day, speakers took the podium on subjects such as “Reaching Your Full Potential in Paris” (Florence Beretta) and “Structuring Your Property Purchase to Minimize Tax” (John Howell). Entertainers from The Improfessionals performed “They Eat Frogs” and “I’m Not a Tourist” — both to big audiences.
The exhibitors and attendees seemed to all agree that for a first time out, Expatica had done a bang-up job of Welcoming us Expats to France and we quickly signed up for the same booth at next year’s fair.
Their newly published “Expat Survival Guide” — Your Essential Guide to Living in France — was on hand for all to take. I have a large stash to hand out at the conferences in San Francisco and New York this coming week. To get your own copy and to receive their weekly newsletter about France edited by Clair Whitmer, be sure to visit http://www.expatica.com
The Living and Investing in France Conference opens this coming Friday at the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf. The whole team is heading West on Wednesday to prepare for an information-packed weekend in the “City by the Bay” before heading East to New York for our one-day Invest in France Seminar at the Harvard Club on October 26th. I’ll be writing from there with the assistance of Lynda Sydney on the ground here in Paris to answer your emails and launch the newsletters.
A la prochaine…
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]
P.S. For those who are wanting to attend either conference, we are still taking registrations and reservations for the dinner with Leonard Pitt. Visit the sites to register online:
LIVING AND INVESTING IN FRANCE
San Francisco, October 21 to 23, 2005
INVEST IN FRANCE
New York, October 26, 2005
Or contact Schuyler Hoffman, Conference Coordinator, at [email protected] or call Pacific Time 1-310-427-7589.