Ascend 2022 - Review and Thoughts
Last Tuesday we got together to review our impressions of the Ascend 2022 show. Most of us were personally there, exhibitors, attendees, presenters. But we also had two remote attendees listening in and giving feedback. Here a summary of the discussion.
Positive / Venue
1) All in-person attendees agreed how great it was to see everybody, hang-out together, and celebrate the return to "normalcy". All of us came home tired, excited, and without getting infected. We heard from only two Covid cases during the course of the show - quite a success if true.
2) The atmosphere, venue, overall attendance was good, a true turn around from last year. The smaller space, short distances between the presentation rooms was positive and allowed to meet people easily and frequently.
Mixed / End-User Attendance - Prospect Opportunities
Andy Haack (Enginatis) was promoting his company's product "Blitz-Reports". He was enthusiastic about the frequent product demos and the large number of customer meetings he was able to organize.
Other people were not so excited. To most of us it seemed that at least 50% of the attendees were consultants, vendors, or organizers. So, the opportunities for networking were good, the opportunities to meet end-users, get engagement prospects, or close a deal were very few and far in between. We took advantage of the situation and worked a lot on improved partner relationships between vendors and consultants.
Some of us were missing the Quest user group as our products and services may be appropriate for those ERP solution also. A larger participation would create more energy.
Mixed - Session Attendance
Most of the sessions we led or participated in had fewer than 10-12 participants. They were informative and had good discussions. However, it was difficult to feel an excitement and high energy in the presentation sessions.
We were wondering together - how many people actually attended the presentations? More must be done to create really exciting presentations. For smaller audiences, we must find a way to engage in interactive participation. Otherwise, why go to an in-person conference? You can just download the presentations.
Positive / Session Content
All of us were happy with the content of the presentations we attended. We only saw a small subset and we selected those we were interested in. Need to see more general feedback.
Unresolved / What to learn ? How to go forward ?
We had an extended conversation what our approach to future events should be. A number of perspective were raised:
- We need to get more end-user participation - but how?
- Organize more intimate / conversational events locally / regionally in person with companies to share specific topics or challenges. Good thought - but very difficult to organize.
- What would draw users to attend the show? How will a company justify the expense, time off work, travel etc.? What do they expect to learn or who to meet that cannot be done remotely? We did not have great answers, but we know that we need that end-user attendance to achieve our objectives. What did people want to know? Areas we heard about: Cloud Migration, R12.2 upgrade, security products, what else?
- We want to strengthen our networking relationships, beyond the trade show interactions. We want to pickup the vendor-to-vendor presentation sessions, and explore other venues of collaboration. Watch this space for more ideas and please let us know your thoughts.
When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.