12 June 2008

A Tale of Two Booths

Coming from a background in Post-Production, I am used to doing two main exhibitions each year - NAB in Las Vegas and IBC in Amsterdam. In a given year, I would also participate in one or more smaller or regional exhibitions. These were grueling tradeshows, consisting of 4-5 9-hour days filled with nonstop talking, constantly on my feet. The audience was there to consume. Sure, they wanted to be educated on which tool to buy, but they wanted to buy a specific tool for a specific need - say a color corrector panel or a film restoration system.

Now that I work for an intranet portal company, I've been to a few smallish events, culminating in a booth at Enterprise 2.0. It was like falling through the looking glass. The Demo Pavilion was only open for two short sessions on two of the conference days. And most attendees were interested in consuming ideas, not products. People were there to be educated on concepts and technologies - What is microblogging? How can Wikis help my company? - not necessarily specific products.

All in all, very interesting. Though I don't think there's any judgment or lesson to be drawn, I find the comparison quite interesting.