The first thing that hits you when you arrive is the scale of the conference. There are nine halls altogether and I would estimate that each hall is larger than the RDS exhibition space in Dublin. There were also 11 outdoor exhibition areas.
108,000 people attended this years show from over 200 different countries.
You could get lost wandering around all the halls so you would definitely need to plan your visit well in advance. Otherwise your days could go looking at all the latest trends.
The trends that were apparent at the show included –
Virtual Reality & Robotics. Many stands had the opportunity to try on Virtual Reality head sets and to transform yourself into another world. These stands seemed to have the biggest queues. I am not sure if that was the interest in the technology or grown men wanting to play with toys.
There were many robots on display. I stood beside this one who asked me how I was !
IOT. The Internet of Things. It is hard to know how many connected machines there are but what is certain is that the number is certain to explode. Everything from turning on your central heating using your mobile phone to your fridge ordering food if you are running low.
5G. We have had 3G and 4G so what else would follow only 5G. This will enable much better online experiences. However if you live in an area of the country that still can’t get broadband the particular number of G is not much help to you.
Big Data. Big data is still quite a buzz word. Analysing your customers browsing habits. Improving Customer experience, Identifying customers preferences. All done using Big Data programmes.
Smart Cars. It is official. Your car is now smarter than you. Some people might say that this was always the case. After all the human is the one that buys the new car and loses 25% of its value when they drive it out of the garage.
What we can expect in the future above.
I saw a demonstration of a new watch that let you move your arm in a certain way, your BMW would drive itself over to you. For this demo they had built a wall around it, Just in case !
New devices. This is the show where everyone launches their latest smartphone or tablet. The latest version of the Nokia 3310 was on show and was being marketed as a smart second phone. Battery would last up to a month compared to your normal smartphone that will hardly last a day.
Enterprise Ireland & Irish companies
There were around 15 companies on the Enterprise Ireland stand. This number mushroomed to around 115 on Tuesday evening when the Irish party started. Guinness, Baileys and Irish music all helped the networking. I spoke to a few executives from Hong Kong who were drinking Guinness and loving Ireland.
I just bought the basic entry ticket to attend. Participating on the Ireland stand would be the next step. Taking our own stand would be good but might be a little way off. I spoke with one company who had a stand which had a screen and a desktop of approx. 3 foot by 3 foot. They had paid €25,000 for this small stand.
You could have a small room for conducting meetings but that would cost you €15,000 for the four days.
I was told that one large phone manufacturer had paid 7 million euro for the space at the conference. Once they built their stand, manned it for the week and put all their people up in accommodation in Barcelona, the cost was estimated to be closer to 20 million.
As well as networking and trying on Virtual Reality headsets I did actually do some work. I spoke with a large number of companies and have been asked to send on details of MindaClient to 12 companies. I left MindaClient brochures with representatives of the Welsh, Northern Ireland, UK & Catalonian countries. We hope to get a number of new customers from these prospects. I also attended a number of pre-arranged meetings.
So that’s it until 2018. Nothing left but to wave goodbye.