Thursday, 30 April 2009

A Day Out At Internet World

Sorry if this post rambles a bit but stick with it, it will save you valuable time in the long run...

After being an exhibitor at Internet World last year I was looking forward to seeing it this year from a visitors perspective. Before going I had optimistically circled the seminars that I wanted to go to, and arrived with plenty of time to have a look around the exhibition before the first event.

Well the automated badge machines and the lovely lady that greeted and helped me with it made for good first impressions. I made straight away for the Web 2.0 theatre so that I knew where to go when my first seminar began in 1 hours time.

After 30 mins salesman dodging I returned with a colleague to the Web 2.0 theatre to discover a large crowd pressing against the entrance. 'At least i'm here early for my Buzz Montitoring seminar' I smugly thought to myself. These wallies should have got here earlier if they wanted a seat for 'Web 2.0 - The Legal Aspects'! After being threated by security several times for loitering with intent in the aisles (er, intent to...visit a seminar?) I moved around the corner to await my lecture. It was as I was leaning against the thin wall of the Web 2.0 theatre that I started to hear word like 'Buzz' and 'measuring socail media'. I checked my watch and it said 11:45 so couldn't possibly be my show whish started at 12. Then I heard more words, 'influence' and 'conversation' and realised that this was my seminar! By this time I had luckily been shoved to the front of the crowd of wallies (that I realised I was one of). After 15 mins of craning my neck to hear what was being said the security woman must have felt sorry for us few at the front. We were ordered to a space on the back wall.

Once this finished I had a another look around the stands. Red Ant and Punky Duck stood out. Once I had finished my £6.95 Jacket potato and beans I rushed back to the theatre as I most certainly did not want to miss the talk from Mark Watts-Jones of Orange. I arrived (30mins early) to a queue reminiscent of the toilet queues for the London marathon.

It streched for miles! Twisting round the theatre all the way back the length of Earls Court. I was dissapointed to say the least. (I did manage to get in, but am not proud to say that I had to queue jump). Well Mark's (@MWJ ) 30 min presentation was thoroughly engaging and would have been worth an hours wait. He covered how Orange uses social media to their advantage. The key point (I think) was that they take their brand to where their customers already are, rather than trying to entice customer s to visti them. A large precense on Facebook and Bebo as well as the website and related microsites (Orange Film Club for their 'Orange Wednesdays' promotion).

Immediatly after this, there was a lecture on 'Engaging users through online video'. Great! I thought, got my seat so i'll sit back and enjoy. Nope. I was ordered out of the theatre and told I had to join the back of the queue. This was a queue that would reach to the moon and back if laid out in a straight line.

B***cks to this I thought and set off home.

So please Internet World. I only went really for the seminars. Is there anyway that I can prebook my space now in the Web 2.0 (3.0?) theatre for next year? Otherwise I won't be going again.

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Fellow IW'er said...

Good review, those queues were certainly bizarre - it's not like IW wouldn't have known how many tickets were issued...

Anonymous said...

As organiser of Internet World I understand your frustration but you have to remember a couple of things. We run a business which is all about putting buyers and sellers together. It would not be possible to put on 7 theatres of free seminars if it wasn't for the exhibitors who take stands (and are there to sell their services). The seminars are the a hook to get people to the show - come and learn stuff for free but in return we'd like you to meet our exhibitors who can help you implement the stuff you've learned.

as such, we aren't in a position to build 7 theatres that seat 400. Its just not viable (cost wise) and there would be no-one on the show floor. the inevitable result of this is that people will not get in to the seminars.

Fortunately if you attended you will be able to view the seminars online in a week or so.

So for those who were disappointed, I'm sorry, but if you never had any interest in meeting the exhibitors anyway, you're not the people we target the show at...

Anonymous said...

In which case, how about quality vs quantity of these seminars. Half the number of theatres and double the quality - some are very much sales pitches. Also not sure where the "never had any interest in meeting the exhibitors anyway" came from?