I love trade shows and conferences. Besides the great people watching and personal encounters you have with the booth dwellers it is always the fastest way to absorb info about a market segment.
The Expo in Tokyo did not let me down. This was my first international trade show experience. The show was a bit smaller that I was expecting, there were about 2K exhibitors and around 100K attendees. Compared to the MAGIC or PPAI/ASI shows in Vegas, this was relatively tame.., still great though.
It was very interesting to experience the Japanese IT and enterprise software market first hand. It seems to me that most applications and especially user interfaces.
It was exciting to see the presence that we had at the show. A strong showing from our partners CareBrains (now OSS CRM) and Softbank representing on our behalf. We were there to hop nob and experience the show while helping out with some larger Japanese clients and new partners. Here is some pics of the booth:
It was also great to have a large booth right across the aisle from our good friends Salesforce…, tried to snap some pics before they drove me away.., “no pictures here” they told me.., able to get one of them off:
I was able to swing by the Embedded Systems show in the hall across the way.., pretty interesting. I love all sorts of gadgets and microcontrollers, flat screens, etc. It was interesting to see first hand the massive push that Microsoft has for their embedded system of Windows. They had an ok sized Dynamics booth on the software side.., but a HUGE booth on the embeded side of the show.
My good pals at Google K.K. had a booth there. Lots of people flocking their booth while they pushed adsense, maps, and their applications. I obtained their handout.., 100 ways to use Google.., will try to get some pics up from the booklet once I can get some pics snapped.
All in all good times. The take away from the show.., the Japanese market is quite picky.., they want a corporate presense.., they want case studies.., and above all.., they love give aways just as much as companies in the states do when it comes to trade shows.
Top 2 booth give aways.., a invisible writing pen that has a black light on the end shat shows what you have written, and a mechanical calendar from Softbank that is good forever.
Also.., the Japanese seem to be taking to Open Source quite well. They are a bit behind the Euros and Aussies, but the understanding and acceptance in on the uptick. As we continue to close more markee customers over here and get more case studies.., this place is primed for Open Source explosion in the enterprise.
A funny thing from the show that I was not able to capture before getting chased away was the pics that Salesforce had in their booth for testimonials.., I swear that at least 3 of them were our taxi drivers.., if you dont understand this read the first Tokyo report here.
After the Expo one day we headed across the river/bay divide to one of our partners new offices for a meeting before a dinner with a new SI partner out there.., pretty amazing view of that side of the city: