March 22, 2015

Enterprise Connect 2015

Now that Enterprise Connect is over and I’m back home to decompress, here are my usual random thoughts about the whole thing, in no particular order of importance. This being my first EC, I had no idea what to expect. Here is a sample...

House lighting was interesting. Our booth had bad lighting. I chalked it up to “it is what it is” until I walked about three aisles over to see a huge difference in the house lights. I couldn’t even look at the light it was so bright, like a nice sunny happy day. Then I went back to my booth and felt like it was overcast.

  -The facility staff was top notch. Very friendly, very easy to work with and very cooperative. At the last moment we needed to get an extra light and everyone involved took their time with us to make sure we had what we wanted.

- Anyone who would have attended the show without knowledge of the industry would have assumed it was put on by Cisco.

-Samsung did not have their brand new phone at the show. As a Galaxy Note Edge user I wanted to see the Galaxy S6 Edge.

-At 44 years old, I’m getting too old to do a booth build, even though it wasn’t that big. I hope for the time when I can pop in five minutes before the show starts and leave five minutes after it is over.

-Cisco’s MX800 has much better image quality than the IX5000

-The guys from Acano are all pretty cool. Many of them took the time to visit us and chat with me about our product

-There was what worked out to a $20 fee to leave the parking lot. Each time. For a business idea, someone should by a neighboring property and offer shuttle service for $10 a car. You don’t even need to pave it or maintain it as most people are driving rentals anyway. Anyway, during booth installs there are the typical Home Depot or Lowes runs and while $20 in the scheme of things isn’t that expensive, it adds up. Not all of us have incredible amounts of money to throw around.

-We ended up renting a 7 bedroom house for $240 a night only a few miles away from the show. This was much better than our usual “everyone gather in one hotel room for cocktails…err a meeting” approach and much, much cheaper. If we do this again, I need to remember to bring coffee though.

-Polycom shouldn’t have moved their booth to be next to Cisco. Their booth (and frankly everyone’s) paled in comparison to Cisco. Their booth was beautiful. Polycom’s was sparse.
          -Word ‘round the campfire said that Polycom was escorting Cisco employees out of their booth. I read that from a Cisco employee so take it with a grain of salt, but it’s laughable if that happened. We had a lot of Cisco people at our booth and it was a pleasure to talk to them and see their interest in our product. One Cisco employee told me that our product was so simple and elegant, why didn’t they think of it. I felt that I needed to remind him who invented immersive telepresence and why it’s no real surprise that Cisco did not come up with the concept.

      -Beer and wine gets thrown around quite liberally at the show. This can have unintended and bad consequences. I won’t go into it but booze, certain business executives with too much power (in their minds) and pretty women don’t mix. Neither ‘booth babes’ nor female booth exhibitors should be treated with disrespect. Enterprise Connect needs to be aware that there can be a problem with too much free booze flowing. 

      -Lifesize had a very minimal presence. I hope that's not a (bad) sign of things to come.

      -At Infocomm, our entire industry was freaking out about Lync. Now they are all freaking out about Skype for Business.

      -If money were no object, I would hire people to be "attendees" and have them mill around our booth. It always seemed that the more people that were in our booth, the more attention it would attract.
   Overall, it was a great show that I plan to attend next year.

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