Pre-show: Excitement and anxiety mount in equal measure; our product, ShowGizmo, is the official Confex smartphone app. Eek!
Sunday night: Arrive in London to set up Kensington Hotel Base Camp. Check in with New Zealand base where it’s already tomorrow?God bless Skype!
Monday morning: Stumble bleary-eyed with jet-lag into the big chill of Earls Court, finding the sudden leap from summer to winter challenging.
Watching our booth being built about as entertaining as watching paint dry! UK Gizmologists arrive and relieve the monotony. We plot world conquest over hearty lunch in warm pub.
Back to the chiller?booth still not done, technology not set up, stress mounting. But Confex-inspired, Big Deal meeting calls us to West End, so we leave the finishing touches to our ‘boys’.
Day 1: Talk, demo, troubleshoot, wander about checking out cool stuff. Booth is gratifyingly busy. Adrenalin keeps jet-lag at bay. Food and wireless connections eye-wateringly expensive.
Day 2: People seem to know who we are. “You’re the Kiwis!” they say.
We’re confident this is because they love ShowGizmo, not because we get the sympathy vote on account of the Christchurch earthquake. Whatever, the leads keep piling up!
Day 3: Bit fuzzy after Exhibitor Party! By this time we’re old Confex hands and feel like we own the place. Our new best buds are Jonathan from Genesis, our fantastic booth buddy, and Dan the Man from Mash Media whose booth miraculously dispenses wine.
Another full-on day. But all too soon, this parallel tradeshow universe which seems to have been our reality for ever, is done. We tally up the leads. ‘WOW! Say our tearful farewells and head back into the cold, hoping our booth designers will remember to come and deal to our booth.
After frenetic week of follow up meetings and other business, Big Deal very close, but no cigar yet, it’s back in the air for the return endurance marathon. We land to horror images of devastation in Japan.
While it’s a bit early to count chickens, we certainly got what we came for; warm leads in abundance, potential channel and technology partners, getting our technology in front of people who should give a damn?and a heap of new friends
Marie-Claire Andrews is the International Market Development Manager for New Zealand-based SmartShow, which produces ShowGizmo – designed to harness smartphone and online technology to add value to tradeshows, exhibitions and conferences. Events powered by ShowGizmo enable users to extend and deepen relationships, achieve new revenue streams, improve lead generation and qualification and better measure performance and ROI.