Thoughts from the Ground at eWorld 2011
If you are anything like us here at BMP you WISH you'd had the fortune to be at last week's eWorld conference in London. Maybe next year...
We asked our partner Nick Drewe at marketdojo to share his experiences with us - this was their first appearance at eWorld so they were able to see the event with fresh (and very enthusiastic) eyes. Here are his thoughts. We would also like to recommend that you take a look at their article 'Old Versus New: Why Work with a Startup?' in our Procurement Library.
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The Market Dojo eWorld Purchasing & Supply experience!
Despite being in existence for only 7 months, we decided to invest in exhibiting in the eWorld show, having recognised it to be the premier event to exhibit for organisations in the e-procurement market after several great recommendations.
Organised by the very personable and accommodating Claire Boffey from Revolution Events, we were fast-tracked at the very last minute for the March 2011 event at the QEII Conference Centre in the heart of London. Our position was in a great spot sandwiched between two networking areas and adjacent to the buffet area which allowed us to chat with the hungry visitors. The London Eye and Big Ben provided the fantastic back-drop to our stand. Setting up in the morning was the greatest challenge, unravelling our pristine banner and laying out the freshly printed brochures, although the highlight was the relief sought after dropping the heavy cargo off my now-disfigured back! Revolution Events were very helpful in making sure we had all we needed, helping us overcome the usual technical issues of connecting to the wireless internet. Chatting to our neighbours left and right whilst setting up, we discovered we were in the presence of an ex-Dragon’s Den contestant, which provided a fun start to the day to learn the truth behind the scenes of a smoothly-edited television programme!
Our first visitor popped by shortly after 9am and by 9:30am we had a steady stream of engaging discussions. We were able to give live demonstrations of the software which proved popular, as did our prize draw for a free e-auction, amongst other prizes. One thing we did see was the very noticeable ebb and flow of visitors in harmony with popular presentations scheduled throughout the day, which meant that one minute all would be quiet and the next you would have people queuing up to talk with you. This did become a tricky balance as you didn’t want to cut visitors short or allocate them a later time for fear of appearing rude, yet at the same time you couldn’t keep people waiting either. Even with the four of us on the stand it did get a little frantic on occasion, but naturally we took this as a great sign of encouragement! Bizarrely it took us until the afternoon to realise that rather than doing a full live demonstration of the software each time, we would be just as informative by talking visitors through the 2 minute demonstration video that we have on our homepage of the complete e-sourcing process. I don’t know why it took us so long to think of this.
As the afternoon passed, the visitor numbers began to dwindle, as did the resoluteness in our feet. We met our final visitor on the dot of 4:30pm whilst those around us were starting to pack up. Looking back on it, we were quite fortunate for not packing immediately as our visitor had just arrived, saw that we were the only ones still going, and we now have an exciting meeting scheduled with them. We also have already had a great meeting post-eWorld with one of our neighbouring stands and we have many more meetings lined up as well. It really was a brilliant day for generating numerous opportunities and I highly recommend eWorld to anyone else thinking of taking part, be it presenting a talk or sponsoring a stand.
We were also pleased to announce that the winner of the free e-auction out of our 30 or so entrants was the Alzheimer’s Society. I hope that this will be of great benefit to them and a very worthy cause it is too.