Because of the all-pervasive trend towards Cloud Computing, as I looked around the Cloud Expo Europe last week, there was not a great deal of hardware on show, and a number of exhibitors had thought of completely different ways to attract and interact with the show visitors. For example, one company was challenging visitors to a game of crazy golf.
One display which did catch my eye though, was the selection of cool rugged tablets from Tablet Technologies, which had a good position near the entrance to the show.
Tablet Technologies is a UK company manufacturing their own range of rugged Windows and Android tablets. The devices are built to client specs, so can include extra features, such as barcode scanning or GPS, with the showcase product being the NX10 IP65 Ruggedised 8″ Windows Tablet. Looking more closely, these devices have a true quality feel – the ruggedness of a Landrover compared to the lightweight tablets that most of us use. They will be a great asset to people in the toughest and most demanding jobs on the planet- travelling, in warehouses, working out of doors in all weathers.
I am beginning to like the ExCel centre – the DLR route through London’s new docklands to Custom House is efficient, and it’s just a short hop from the station platform to the exhibition halls.
Today, ExCel was the busiest I have ever seen.
The spaces within ExCel are vast and cavernous, they house a number of individual halls of all sizes. On previous visits, ExCel had always seemed to be providing too much capacity for the shows and crowds it attracted, and even with a few hundred people around, you could still feel a bit lonely there.
Today, with some of London’s biggest technology trade shows all in full swing, ExCel came to life. The Data Centre World, Cloud Expo Europe, Cloud Security Expo and the new baby exhibition Smart IOT London filled one end of the centre, while at the other end, Railtex, InfraRail, ARLA and CITE (Civil Infrastructure and Technology Exhibition) were all buzzing with people. Thinking about visitor numbers, the first four shows alone probably attracted over 12,000 people.
Recently, I found myself scanning through a catalogue of about 1,000 exhibitors, looking for companies who supply some particular products I am researching.
Writing catalogue entries is usually treated as a rushed administrative task, but could it affect the outcome you get from a tradeshow?
Many entries state that their company is “leading”. Sadly, this is meaningless corporate vanity. It’s also subjective, and editors usually remove “leading” from any edited, published PR content. Besides that, it doesn’t tell anyone what your company does.
At this particular show, a number of companies wrote that they have been in business for 40 years. Well to me, that makes you sound old fashioned if you are a technology vendor, and implies that you might still be doing things the way you did then. Although the history is interesting, I would add it as a statement at the end of the catalogue entry. I am interested in what you have achieved, and in particular what you have achieved recently – and what you have that is new at this show.
Ideally, the catalogue entry will answer the questions – who are you? what do you do? And what can you do for me? And if what you are selling is really your expertise, why not state the exact areas where you have this expertise? It’s particularly important for a newcomer to the market to get the messaging right.
I think there is often reluctance to be so specific in the description of a company’s service, in case any broader sales opportunities may be closed off. However, for most SME companies and technical companies the key to success is specialising in what you do and delivering a better product or service than the competition. If you can begin to convey this in your PR, marketing and catalogue entries, then there’s a far more compelling reason to bring people to your show stand.