Our journey through the best Tech Events

Emma Revert
01 July 2019

If you’re following us on social media, you might be wondering why we’ve been traveling so much lately. In October 2018, we started our journey as part of the project “3.3.3. SME Support in the Promotion of Product Brands - Go to Brand” from The Intelligent Development Program 2014-2020, launched by the European Development Fund. 

We have landed in 5 different countries, 3 different continents, 7 fairs, and we still have some trips scheduled. Sounds nice, right? We had fun, enjoyed different cultures, but we also dived into the business culture and tech events. The goal of the program is to promote Startup Development House on an international stage. Would you like to become a part of our trips? Let’s get you through our journey and learnings from the best tech events!

Gitex 2018, Dubai

We started the journey with energy. In October 2018, our Business Development Team took a plane to Dubai. We attended Gitex, an event gathering all kinds of Technology in the MENA region. “Huge stands, huge event, huge booths and scenes, smart city, futuristic gadgets and other buzzwords everywhere.” - our BD Team got captivated. It was an event for startups and startup accelerators, but also for big companies. 

Saudi Arabia Government and Dubai Police were present with modern, big and futuristic booths, i.e. really eye-catching.

And, what have we learned about business? There were people interested in software development and a lot of companies interested in partnerships. Also, having a local office seemed to be a plus.

So, what was next? 

SXSW 2019, Austin

March 2019, after some months in the office, the BD team packs again. This time we crossed the Atlantic and landed in the country of dreams. SXSW was simply cool: music, film, design, culture, politics, startups, technology, entertainment in general. Particularly, we attended The Trade Show, dedicated to startups showing their products and companies offering services and partnerships.

We were afraid our BD team would move to the USA after falling in love with the city - “Awesome stuff, amazing city, very well-informed and optimistic people knowing what they need business-wise, friendly atmosphere, very good feeling about the whole event. It didn't even feel like work!”.

It didn’t feel like work? But we still worked and we learned from it. We got many contacts, discussions were smooth and people were business-oriented. We also learned that the US software services market (and Silicon Valley in particular) is not saturated and has room for new services. And definitely, we experienced that blockchain is growing and that people were open for product advisory.

So after so much love for the city and culture, also some love for the event. Companies like Lockheed Martin, Firefly Aerospace, Orig3n, LUSH or Shell enchanted us with their booths. Moreover, there were cool speeches by Lockheed Martin about their exoskeletons, Orion spaceship, about taking humans to the Moon and to Mars. They had several presentations with guests like real astronauts and NASA executives. There were many famous guests - co-founders of Instagram, famous writers…

But the event came to an end and luckily we retrieved our team.

IoTx the Big Data Show 2019, Dubai 

Dubai, familiar city, here we come again in April. This time attending an event about cybersecurity, blockchain, IoT - enterprise solutions, startups, entrepreneurs. A bit smaller than Gitex, but same feeling as we had before.

This time, we learned that blockchain and cybersecurity are BIG. It was evident the high number of expensive booths and people looking for those services. Good business quality once more. 

But you already know a bit about Dubai from our previous experience, so let’s board onto the following flight.

WIS 2019, Seoul

This time, our BD team had to divide, and just part of it had the luck to land there. Cultural shock, as expected, but a really nice country. Very different from the UAE, US or Europe -  business there is not so focused on design nor showing off.

And business? Well, not to blame anybody, as cultural and business differences slow it a bit. But hey, we still learned a lot.

This time we were in a rush to catch the next plane, so don’t blame our tired boys, let’s make them speak more after some rest.

Service Desk & IT Support 2019, London

Just one week later we headed to London. This time the event was about customer care tools for businesses - marketing, analytics, and data collection. 

Overall, the event was great. Very product-focused, classy booths, and international companies.

We learned that the event was more outside of our reach, but still, we are glad we attended. Once more, learnings were important. 

Don’t leave yet, cause the journey is not over. You thought it would be like a vacation? You still have to learn from two more events.

Pioneers Festival 2019, Vienna

We are sure you’ve heard about Pioneers before if you are reading this post. Lots of promising growing startups and investors. A lot of speeches about big ideas, worldwide trends (particularly startup trends), global changes, and new technologies.

“It was a very impressive event, you feel you're in the middle of the world with very smart people wanting to change the world all around. Really makes you excited.”

Investors and big companies could easily meet prospective startups and business was easy and arose naturally. 

The best part, the pitch competition. It was awesome! Like a TV show, with two investor-jury boards and announcers running the show. We had the opportunity to give a keynote speech with Siemens and it was nothing less than insightful and innovative.

And directly from Vienna, off to the US again. It’s not that we are complaining, of course!

IoT World 2019, Santa Clara 

Already May, and the last fair to attend during the first half of the year. Part of our BD team and our CEO headed to the US. What was the event about? IoT and general IT related topics. “Quite classy and professional tech event very much focused on IoT. Not what you would expect from Silicon Valley - not startup-ish”- surprising, right?

We experienced that there is a lot of need for hardware design, embedded software development, and prototyping in the IoT area. We also discovered that there are many smart things to do ahead of us, so that’s one of the reasons why we attend fairs: Feedback and learnings are our best friend. 

In terms of business, many outsourcing offers, high booths traffic, exciting brands, conversations were smooth and nice.

 

And finally, time to head home! Let’s give our BD team some rest (at the office). The fairs we attended were really enriching. Some better than others in terms of business and relevance, but all of them gave us something to think about. We learned that sometimes we could’ve used a different approach (communication matters, yes). Also, some events are so full of people flow that not even a booth is required. And of course, different business cultures are amazing!

Let us know what you think about it in the comments. Have you attended any tech event or fair? Do you recommend it?

 

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