Roman’s Rants: Conference Archaeology
30th October 4 Comments
Yesterday I came in touch with something that got my ranting juices flowing again. I visited the Neocom in Düsseldorf, which is said to be one of the most important commerce events in Germany. And apart from seeing my punk buddies Alex & Nadine again (who have to there today as well, poor bastards) and getting a reason to rant, it was a fucking waste of time!!
If you’re visiting a commerce conference, it’s bound to be the same everywhere. Since decades. Centuries even. Service providers have their booths and their little goodies ready for the masses of potential customers – apparently, being there and providing a valuable service does not suffice. Yet, the target group doesn’t seem to care too much, I saw empty corridors and booths as well as bored employees (which makes them even more likely to ambush you with some bullshit question like “is Big Data an issue in your company?”). If you stop and surrender, a sales person will recite their company’s brochure. If you leave your business card, you can take a pen for your kids but you will be pestered via phone and email for years to come. The truth is: you don’t need a salesperson, you need people who really know their stuff and provide in-depth advice. You don’t need business-cards, good people find a way to get in touch, be it simply by using Google, Linkedin or Xing respectively. Why would I constipate my wallet with piles of paper anyway?
Then there’s the girls. The ever-wandering goodie girls. I’m a straight guy, okay, so in theory I belong to the target group of short-skirted, high-heeled female attractiveness. But if there are too many of them (and as Nadine has pointed out, if the price tags are still visible on their shoes) the desired effect simply vanishes. Why not have half-naked guys run around and distribute stuff for a change? Like Abercrombie & Fitch meets Conference Floor. That would make an impression.
Actually, why not do things differently? Have booths with decent music playing. Make them enjoyable spaces to relax and connect. With couches, TV, drinks and all. Have people there that have something to say. Provide Skype chats with developers if there are technical questions that need to be talked about. Come up with some sort of guiding system that lets newbies find the right places. Provide WLAN and co-working spaces so that problems can be solved and maybe even projects can get started. Just be cool and innovative and don’t waste everbody’s time. Thanks.
(Image by weisserstier)