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  • The Technology Guy 08:22 on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conference, emails, hide, sales   

    Post conference week. What do you do? 

    Last week saw many big conferences on both sides of the Atlantic. Learning Technologies, Learning and Skills, The Cloud and BETT were all in London. ASDT TechKnowledge in the USA.

    If you attended any of these then this week be prepared to suffer the consequences.

    Each time your badge was scanned you got added to a mailing list. Each time you walked up and down a staircase or changed shows at Olympia you were counted and became a statistic.

    Did you go home with a carrier bag full of brochures? Please tell me, what did you do with them? Are they in the recycling yet?

    This week all those who managed to grab your name will be emailing or calling. How do you filter these and take the calls worth hearing?

    For many years I worked that side of the fence, standing at the trade show trying to accumulate as many contacts as possible in two short expensive days. A couple of days after the show the data arrived. Now was follow up time. That starts today.

    Well if you as vendor are reading this be aware from the punter angle and if you attended, be aware from the vendor angle, please.

    I have been out of the office since Tuesday last week. The pile of paper on my desk this morning all needs dealing with. I have 30 important saved emails from the 400 or so that arrived that I could not deal with from my iPhone. All need to be replied or actioned by tomorrow or Wednesday at the latest. Do I have time to follow up with anyone other than those I already promised? Most of the other attendees are just like me.

    So here is what to expect from me.

    If I spoke to you and said ‘let’s lunch’ or you saw me put you on a list in my phone. Expect an email today or tomorrow.

    If I visited your stand and asked you for a business card, call me I will take your call or call you back if you leave a message. There are two whose card I took who can expect a call from me, I want to purchase what you had.

    I have clients who are looking and look to me to be abreast of new things and new offerings. Check out my site ‘click here’ Email mail me if I visited and you scanned my badge. If you call I will say hello but I will be honest and tell you I don’t have time today to chat.

    If you think you missed me and have something great to show me that my clients may like then email me and tell me.

    If you, like me, attended these shows then I ask you don’t ignore the people you saw. When I was on that side of the fence there was nothing worse than leaving a lot of voicemails and getting no reply or emailing as I had been asked to do to find myself just being ignored. So if you email me you will get a reply. If you call, leave not only your number but your email address. I will get back to you but probably not till later this week.

    Have fun in follow up week, those of you, you know who you are, expect my call or email.

    • The Learning Coach 08:37 on February 4, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Updated this about six times. iPhone WordPress app loves to mis-type. Or is it me?

  • The Technology Guy 08:55 on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: conference, Lt13uk   

    #LT13UK Honest review 

    I decided unlike others to knee jerk a blog out about #lt13uk this year until I had a few days to gather some thoughts.

    The day after I attended an International Think Tank meeting hosted by the LPI and then Friday I walked the floor at BETT (another post).

    So hear I am, thoughts gathered and ready to hit the keys. (new pen to paper?)

    Three shows in one. Learning Technologies, Learning and Skills and The Cloud. Oh yes and a conference upstairs.

    Very few of them at the conference ventured down to the exhibition floor. Well excuse the pun but it was below them (two floors). The most expensive conference on the circuit and sold out. Many however spend £1000 to attend but won’t spend the same £1000 on their staff as they have no budget! That’s not me being controversial but a reality. Shame really.

    So to the exhibitions. LT first.

    First day was very busy, second not so much. First impression was that the stands were far bigger, much more self build extravagance and to be honest, to much ‘ours is bigger and better than yours’ for my liking.

    Networking around the floor was great. So many good conversations over two days. Lots of upbeat life in the market but little expecting to spend any real money on anything. Great to look to see what’s new said many. But they also said its hard to find anything new.

    Responsive web design seemed the big theme with a very limited talk of xAPI (Tin Can). Those I met were interested in seeing what I had produced in xAPI as it was not talk about it but the chance to see it. I found only two vendors with anything to show and to be honest they were not good examples. More if a replacement for SCORM. Since the show I have been asked are there any case studies I can provide. Well the spec does not release till April, so a bit early I would say for a case study of any worth. Early adoption is probably a better way to look at it.

    There was mobile mobile mobile on every stand. However, it was very clear from the vast majority of corporates that they have no mobile strategy at this time and for many it’s not on their radar! Maybe that will be the biggest change if the show has any influence on the market.

    All in all LT was a good exhibition, the stages were well attended but they were very much sales presentations. If I am honest I think there were too many stages. All back to back and very noisy.

    Onto Learning and Skills.

    Whoa, what a difference 20 yards into the red zone makes.

    The stark difference as you walked out of technology sales and into the real nitty gritty learning and training and skills world. This is what training and learning is all about, no?

    The big stands were gone, shell scheme everywhere and so many who need a lesson in how to promote themselves. Hand drawn pictures stuck poorly on the walks, messy tables, unclear statements. People in stands clicking on phones not even noticing the punters walking by. Many less people, stands closer together and it felt like you were walking the gauntlet in every isle.

    Henry at Happy Computers grabbed me and gave me a copy of his book, thanks Henry will read it this week.

    I was offered 5 types of post it notes, and lots of trainer props. Oh and of course the hotels and conference centre people all want to do you a deal.

    I am not completely sure I got this section of the show at all. It did however have the quietest coffee area and I met a number of people there to talk.

    Did it promote anything new to me about learning or teaching skills? Err no!

    Onto The Cloud

    Feet now killing me after two days I ventured down to The Cloud. I think it was the same organiser, hence you got free entry. But it really was a different exhibition.

    Down a long staircase and into the great hall of Olympia and this was a huge exhibition selling you…. The Cloud!

    I am sure there was every major exhibitor here. The theme? Data farms, data storage and app delivery from.,. You guessed it, The Cloud.

    200 exhibitors all selling me the same thing. I started asking what makes your cloud better than theirs. I got a few nerdy answers about redundancy and networks and gigabyte throughputs but I am not better informed.

    No post it notes here, but I got a couple of USB drives and free water. £2.50 a bottle upstairs.

    Then I had a realisation. Big one!

    If these people come upstairs are they going to see what I see downstairs? Loads of vendors some on huge stands looking to big to approach, all selling the same stuff?

    If you are an upstairs vendor, think about this for next year!

    Pedometer reported 10.7 miles in two days. No wonder my legs hurt!

    Lots of people to follow up conversations with next week after two interesting days at Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills.

    Next stop, Singapore for Learning World at the end of the month, then looking forward to Learning Solutions in Orlando. This for me is normally the best conference of the year. Time to start getting excited.

  • The Technology Guy 07:57 on February 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BETT, conference,   

    My day at BETT 

    Spent all day Friday walking the exhibition at BETT and all day yesterday thinking about it.

    A new venue, coincided with LT13 and for the first time to include workplace learning.

    They called it a conference (that’s a laugh) thousands of teachers with little budget oo’ing at technology they probably can’t afford. Hundreds of kids milling around. Why?

    A few stages dotted about, crammed to the gills with people trying to hear over the exhibition noise and about 1000 exhibitors trying to force their brochure in your hand. Everyone with multiple huge carrier bags full of them. I wonder how much ends up in the recycling by the end if this weekend!

    There has to be a better design.

    No roadmap to find your way around, no logical layout of the hall, no real colour scheme and a lousy map. I thought the iPhone app was cool till I tried to use it on site.

    They set out the hall supposedly in areas but with little signage, I was, according to my badge, part of ‘workplace learning’ took me 4 goes round and I found something called workplace learning lounge. It was full of teachers eating their packed lunch. Not another workplace badge in sight. My pedometer reported 3 miles by the time I left.

    Were there specific workplace vendors? If so I missed that entirely.

    Networking was non existent. I had two conversations with vendors. One with the coolest overhead projector I ever saw making an Elmo look like a monster from an older era, I can’t wait to order one. And, a conversation with a guy with some animation software. Problem you would need a year to make a 10 minute animation.

    I had a further two conversations with attendees who were willing to chat none who was confused like me and another when I stopped for an overpriced tasteless bagel. He was from Eastern Europe and was surprised that everything was video technology.

    Lots to learn from this shambolic ‘conference’.

    Maybe they will hire me to make it a real conference next year.

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