Having returned from Microsoft Convergence in New Orleans and reflecting back on the experience, I want to share some of the visual experiences that ISVs and Microsoft created. While there are many sights to behold in New Orleans, especially for a first-timer, I’ll focus on those in the Expo hall.
What was most interesting to me is the broad adoption or ‘use’ of the new Microsoft branding. In almost every row, there was a booth that utilized the Microsoft tile concept. I get a sense that this is going to be one of those overused branding elements…
Power Objects used a new form factor, utilizing the tile concept but having a central pillar around which customers, prospects and partners could congregate. It certainly was very eye catching because you could see, at most, only two sides of it at one time, it never looked empty.
Hitachi utilized a theme of a French café, and we loved the beignets that they were serving – just the smell and the thought of a delicious treat was a good draw to their booth. Their menu boards, placed on all four sides of the café, guided prospects and customers and clearly called out who their subject matter experts were, and highlighted their areas of focus.
Now I must admit that attracting traffic to your booth is challenging for everyone and I saw some entertaining solutions to this issue. The one I enjoyed the most was the ‘magician’ at the SaasPlaza booth who had us fixated on his card tricks – while we weren’t there to buy software (how was he to know anyway), he spent a good 15 minutes entertaining us with his tricks.
Those of you who are connected with me on LinkedIn may have noticed I recently updated my profile picture, courtesy of the Microsoft social booth at Convergence. We could all use a good professional photograph of ourselves so if you didn’t take advantage of this opportunity you may want to see if that opportunity presents itself again next year. Thank you Microsoft.
All in all I thought that the Expo hall this year was well executed and more organized than that in Houston, and, as always, I feel like I could have spent more time in it – that there is always so much more to see and so many more people to speak to.