It might have been any old trade fair at Le Bourget, the ex-airport- cum-conference-centre outside Paris: gleaming products revolving slowly on spotlit carousels; leggy blondes watching over them; businessmen ogling both with undisguised hunger. The difference was the nature of the wares. 'This is an entirely new product,' said the lady from Lear of London, eyeing a large plastic bag with enthusiasm. 'The film is highly absorbent and it's biodegradable.' Mmm. Ten litres of what? A sweet smile: 'Fluid discharge following "coffining".' This was Funeraire, the biennial beanfeast of the international funeral industry. Other delights included a revolutionary new embalming table ('mortuary hygiene' now) with under-the-stiff suction from Hygecobel of Spain, a new range of post mortem make-up (French Rose Blush), and a glossy new Mercedes-based hearse. Attendance at this second Funeraire was 10% up on 1989's, leading Louis-Vincent Thomas, president of the Thanatogical Society, to predict 'a brighter tomorrow for the funeral arts'.
ONE MINUTE BRIEFING: Funding XChange's Katrin Herrling channels her inner mentors when making tough calls.
FROM THE ARCHIVE: You may be in charge, but are you really the model leader that you see in your mind's eye? Here are the telltale signs that your management style needs a makeover.
ONE MINUTE BRIEFING: Rod Aldridge, founder and former CEO of Capita, explains his rules for working with the public sector.
ONE MINUTE BRIEFING: CEO Nicholas Anderson on the essence of FTSE 250 engineering firm Spirax Sarco's M&A strategy.
ONE MINUTE BRIEFING: Julian Richer's thriving hi-fi empire is proof that ethical business pays dividends.
FROM THE ARCHIVE: Big data is so yesterday, says Ryan Smith of billion-dollar data firm Qualtrics.