Been to ad:tech, hated it!

If you are a regular, you should know by now I am not a fan of tradeshows. I am just back from ad:tech and the experience reinforced my feeling. Here is why.

UPDATE: This was 2008 – they may have got better but bear in mind it was a while ago.

This post starts a new category in the blog, reviews. I feel like it’s time to reward those who do well as well as share bad experiences for everyone to learn. Of course it is my sole opinion, but blogs are about this. I am sure this will remain between me and you anyway!

Queue

It’s ok to queue for an event, it means that a lot of people are attending. This becomes a bit of a pain in the neck when you have to do it under the rain (what? Rain in London? How come?). This gets even worse when the line of pre-registered people is half a mile long. But wait there is more. If you wanted to register on the spot you got to wait one fifth of the time. Wow what a great way to reward those who actually bothered to go on your website! Insulting…

Twitter

I started to twit about the event this morning. It was cool I found a lot people within my followers going to the event. Events in Twitter are marked by the # tag. I was twitting about going to #adtech or #ad:tech but the system did not recognize it (i.e. #adtech did not become a link). Update: Actually events are marked with # tag but do not become link. They become link when searched in twitter search.  Anyway they did not have any @adtech acccount, from where to send twits. That means that nobody registered a twitter account. I am not saying it is a must for every event, but what the hell! It is ad:TECH not ad:NEWSPAPER or ad:OLDMEDIA. I was expecting a live screen with twits about the event (great idea to implement at your next event) Update: to do that use Twittercamp. Web 1.0 …

Networking

I went there to network and meet interesting contacts. I did not care about stands and so forth. We can agree that most of us attend events just for what happens at buffets or for the interaction with peers, possibly to improve our business. I wasn’t actually looking for being exposed to sales people of products that, if in the business, you already know. Unfocused…

Credit to Orange for having a networking space, with free coffee, free beers, free lunch, tables and chairs.

The Environment and Sustainability

Miserable. I am very disappointed about this. The amount of paper used to give out useless leaflets which most of the time went directly to MIXED WASTE bins was ridiculous. Come on! There are tons of solutions out there to send your information via bluetooth or on a USB stick.

I was not provided an event guide upon registration, I would have loved to get that emailed this morning, instead of bothering about bringing that home (where I can recycle it). You cannot allow that if you are an event manager. You need to work out solutions for this issue. I remember attending a tradeshow for event planners a couple of month ago. 65% of companies exhibiting were about being sustainable. Shortsighted…

One good thing

The only service I liked was getting slides of attended sessions via email after your badge was scanned.

Vote: 4

About The Author
Julius Solaris
Julius Solaris is the editor of EventManagerBlog.com, he is an international speaker, author and consultant.
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  • I guess the bigger part of the networking goes on at the conference (it’s conference, right?) and not at the exhibition.

    All above is, maybe, partially true for the exhibition but the conference itself is really great. Much better comparing to the last year (for me).

    The goal of exhibition is to have a marketplace, so everyone goes and buys what he wants. Orange and Google U are only exceptions, yep. Check out the mobile massage though! 🙂

  • I guess the bigger part of the networking goes on at the conference (it’s conference, right?) and not at the exhibition.

    All above is, maybe, partially true for the exhibition but the conference itself is really great. Much better comparing to the last year (for me).

    The goal of exhibition is to have a marketplace, so everyone goes and buys what he wants. Orange and Google U are only exceptions, yep. Check out the mobile massage though! 🙂

    • @Vlad

      Hi Vlad and thanks for making a point.

      Well so is ist an exhibition or a conference. By conference do you mean the 800£ one or the free seminars. I loved the free seminars myself, although there was twice the demand of the offer and most of us were standing.

      I can definitely make it up to the organizers in terms of setting up compelling seminars, but you made a good point on one of the four, any other input on Twitter, sustainability and queue management?

      Content has to be king and we all agree but as we are in the Event Manager Blog we are more concerned on praising best practices as well as giving feedback on other ones.

      I suggest you run a search on the blog with keywords “caviar” “negative feedback” and you will see that getting this sort of negative feedback is very precious to the organizer

  • @Vlad

    Hi Vlad and thanks for making a point.

    Well so is ist an exhibition or a conference. By conference do you mean the 800£ one or the free seminars. I loved the free seminars myself, although there was twice the demand of the offer and most of us were standing.

    I can definitely make it up to the organizers in terms of setting up compelling seminars, but you made a good point on one of the four, any other input on Twitter, sustainability and queue management?

    Content has to be king and we all agree but as we are in the Event Manager Blog we are more concerned on praising best practices as well as giving feedback on other ones.

    I suggest you run a search on the blog with keywords “caviar” “negative feedback” and you will see that getting this sort of negative feedback is very precious to the organizer

  • Sounds like a pretty bad experience. And after reading your comment about the free seminar, I can definitely say they did not think it through.

    As for the queue, the reason to preregister is to get in faster. Making those people wait more is just wrong!

    Alina Popescus last blog post..Have You Got The Moves To Engage Your Blog Readers?

  • Sounds like a pretty bad experience. And after reading your comment about the free seminar, I can definitely say they did not think it through.

    As for the queue, the reason to preregister is to get in faster. Making those people wait more is just wrong!

    Alina Popescus last blog post..Have You Got The Moves To Engage Your Blog Readers?

    • @Alina
      Thanks for the comment. Feedback is always precious to organizers. I am sure they’ll do better in the next event

  • @Alina
    Thanks for the comment. Feedback is always precious to organizers. I am sure they’ll do better in the next event

  • Yep, I was talking about the 800£ conference. I went for it and everything was really smooth out there both this and the last year.

    I’d say that the Ad:Tech is really all about that conference, then (partially) about the exhibition and all the rest goes a bit behind.

    Free seminars were more like a public pitching/advertising platforms, I wasn’t attending but… I don’t know. Having an hour long chat (not lecture) with 5 industry sharks in a small quiet room with only + 12-13 “delegates” is just so much different.

    So my point was that that separate paid conference was those 20% that make the 80% of success of the event the event managers had to concentrate on.

    Vlads last blog post..xekc: +1 moleskine

  • Yep, I was talking about the 800£ conference. I went for it and everything was really smooth out there both this and the last year.

    I’d say that the Ad:Tech is really all about that conference, then (partially) about the exhibition and all the rest goes a bit behind.

    Free seminars were more like a public pitching/advertising platforms, I wasn’t attending but… I don’t know. Having an hour long chat (not lecture) with 5 industry sharks in a small quiet room with only + 12-13 “delegates” is just so much different.

    So my point was that that separate paid conference was those 20% that make the 80% of success of the event the event managers had to concentrate on.

    Vlads last blog post..xekc: +1 moleskine

    • @Vlad
      I understand your point completely. Most of the people agreed that the conference as well as seminars were spot on. I am sure they will get the most out of your feedback

  • I was equally gobsmacked by the queues on the opening day – they only had 3 self-service scanners and people were pushing in left, right and centre. Also, if you’ve been before, you’ll be aware that Ad:Tech this year was half the size – i.e. last year it was on two floors! I wonder, given the fact I know a few CEOs who flew in from the States (amongst other countries of course!) were forced to queue in the rain, if Ad:Tech will fill half a floor.

    Geoffs last blog post..Nitro PDF Error 2738 and Regsvr32 Error 0×80004005

  • I was equally gobsmacked by the queues on the opening day – they only had 3 self-service scanners and people were pushing in left, right and centre. Also, if you’ve been before, you’ll be aware that Ad:Tech this year was half the size – i.e. last year it was on two floors! I wonder, given the fact I know a few CEOs who flew in from the States (amongst other countries of course!) were forced to queue in the rain, if Ad:Tech will fill half a floor.

    Geoffs last blog post..Nitro PDF Error 2738 and Regsvr32 Error 0×80004005

    • @Geoff
      Did not know about last year. Obviously if a lot of interesting people show up it’s because they are doing good things. I hope they read this feedback for next events

  • @Geoff
    Did not know about last year. Obviously if a lot of interesting people show up it’s because they are doing good things. I hope they read this feedback for next events

  • @Vlad
    I understand your point completely. Most of the people agreed that the conference as well as seminars were spot on. I am sure they will get the most out of your feedback

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