All the hassle, costs and travel are a small price for what you learn at live events, from getting your hands on the latest tech to keynotes and key trends from industry leaders and innovators. Bart Scheffer, EMEA Vendor Marketing Manager, talks us through why he feels trade shows are definitely worth the effort.

Why do people still feel the need to attend live events? Surely in a world where everything can be found online, at your fingertips, there’s no need to be there in person? Not quite. Following a successful trip to Integrated Systems Europe this month, here are the reasons I love a live show.

1. Get your technology fix

ISE is a showcase for the latest UC solutions, from this year’s buzzword – the small huddle room – to multi-site businesses and complete boardrooms. The trend for eco-systems where products from different vendors work together for a better user experience was much in evidence, such as Zoom Communications with Poly.

2. Networking galore

The old adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know” is still true today. Live events provide opportunities to connect with the wider industry. You meet like-minded individuals and subsequently, leverage the best contacts – invaluable in today’s competitive market.

3. Learning, knowledge and things that trend

Working in a fast-paced industry such as IT, there’s no better place to update industry skills and discover the latest innovations and trends. Where else can you get so many workshops, best practice seminars and panel discussions in one place? Not to mention keynotes from industry leaders and innovators.

4. Keep on top of key trends

You also get a good indication of where things are headed and get a chance to learn as much as possible. Here are some trends at ISE that caught my eye.

  • AV over IP: the expanding usage of IP networks for the carriage of AV-related content and command signals is also increasing the demand for cloud-based services in relation to IoT
  • More services: the new opportunity for value-add services as businesses seek integrated solutions and move from Capex to Opex
  • Displays: the evolution of display technology continues, with direct-view LED now trending, opening new opportunities for meeting room upgrades

5. Let’s get physical

Live shows are great interactive environments. They are full of live demonstrations and new products that provide the opportunity to examine, handle, compare, see, experience and test drive.

Also, you get to shake the hands of innovators and decision-makers, bringing you closer to the action. In this immersive environment, you can become one with the latest tech.

6. Access the big dogs

Research suggests that a third of visitors are either looking for new suppliers or expert advice on specific commercial challenges. Casual approaches and face-to-face appointments are the perfect place for these questions. Chances are you’ll mingle with the key decision makers too.

7. The best of the best

Awards give businesses the kind of validation that customers love to see, and the successful are often recognised and rewarded at live events.

At ISE, Poly won two awards for its Studio X Family – AVTechnology Europe Best of Show Award and Installation Best of Show Award. You can find out more about this solution on our website.

8. Keep your enemies close

In my normal day-to-day routine I rarely see our competitors. But at a trade show I’m surrounded. And that’s a good thing – they are not the enemy, they’re community.

Competitors share common goals, challenges and interests, and networking with them can give me deeper industry insights than I’d get from only talking with my fellow employees. 

9. Something for nothing

We’ve all chatted with an exhibitor whilst keeping one eye firmly fixed on the box of free doughnuts, haven’t we?

Depending on the size of the event and the generosity of the organisers and exhibitors, there will likely be a goldmine of freebies, including but not limited to samples, snacks, competition prizes, pens, stress-balls and laundry tablets. Live shows always provide the things you never knew you wanted.

Contact me to find out more about our collaboration solutions