There was a time when technology events could fill large venues with crowds of visitors and row after row of exhibitors.
Sadly yesterday’s ITEX event in Auckland yesterday was nothing like that. There were a few hundred visitors and, maybe, a couple of dozen exhibitors. It was small by historic standards.
Small is not necessarily bad. The speakers I heard were good, especially Noah Broadwater from the Sesame Workshop. The exhibitor quality was generally high and the visitors even more so,
Clearly the organisers think it is better to get a few hundred IT budget holders and influencers than thousands of tire kickers.
One interesting aspects of ITEX is the way speaker sessions are held in the same space as the expo. This makes for a bustling atmosphere and works well, especially for the one stage keynotes. When all three stages are in action the place is like a three-ringed circus, I mean that in a good way.
My only criticism of ITEX is the venue. While the Viaduct Events Centre is the right size for ITEX, it is too far from car parking and public transport. Getting there and staying smart in a business suit on a rainy day would be a challenge. I also had a crick in my neck looking up at the high display screens on the main stage. Please fix this for next year.
Overall ITEX is a good place to chat and meet people. I ran into a least a dozen people I was keen to see and there’s space to talk.
So, ITEX, put me down as a ‘yes’ for next year’s event.
Had an confirmation of numbers in a tweet from Computerworld:
@billbennettnz cheers, Bill. Good to see you there. FYI We had 600 attendees yesterday. /PM
— Computerworld NZ (@ComputerworldNZ) November 8, 2012