Well, we’ve finished, and with sore feet had a last meal with the guys from SmoothWall (fish and chips/sausage and mash being the order of the day) before we parted ways as they are flying down to Charlotte today to their US offices at early o’clock this morning. The show finished at 2:30pm and we were still sat on our stand at close to 7pm waiting on one last box to finish packing away. It turned out it had been damaged, repaired than not returned to the crate store.
Was the ISTE Exhibition a success for EduGeek? Very much so, to be honest I was concerned that Shaun and I would spend all day manning a stand with no visitors, but this, happily was not the case. Over the 2 and a half days of ISTE we must have met over 100 network managers, district administrators (they lead teams of techies), IT teachers and other IT related education staff, and once we had broken down that everything on EduGeek is free, as in really free for our members and that we would not be selling their details followed by a swift look at the live map on Woopra to give a scale of our coverage. Oh! And a big thank you to all those that left messages on the shoutbox, it was nice to hear from you all.
Hopefully we should see a better take up of IT staff from the US in the next few months, and once word spreads, well. Let’s just see.
The ISTE show is a strange affair. It runs just over 2 and a half days and attracts 13,000 visitors, compared to BETTs 4 days and 60,000 visitors. However at ISTE the visitors must pay $300 to attend and $125 more if they want to take a guest compared to BETTs free admission, and at ISTE the manufacturers stands don’t have as much ‘bling’. There were no real new technologies or products on display, and they concentrated more on sales and awareness of their products and services, that said though, a vast bulk of the companies here also do BETT, which, in my opinion is where they produce the ‘goodies’.
As for Denver? Well, the people couldn’t be friendlier, the city cleaner, the air hotter and the oxygen more lacking (83% that of sea level). It’s taken us about 4 days to just be able to sleep properly and having a glass of water with each beer you get takes a little getting used to. Denver has zero humidity at the moment and you have to constantly replace missing fluids. Even walking down the street will leave your mouth dry and in need of more fluids. There are free buses that travel the length of 16th street (a pedestrianized shopping\eating street that stretches for the best part of a mile). In short, Denver is very pleasant indeed.
We now have 2 days off before flying back on Saturday, so time for a little sightseeing, which as of yet we have not had time to do, and letting our feet recover (next year we get chairs on the stand!).
Before I finish we’d just like to say a few thank-you’s to people and companies etc. who have helped make this trip the success it was:
SmoothWall – For dragging us over here in the first place and letting us share their stand and resources
CIPAFilter – For the steak
Ken Royal – For the chat. We’ll be in touch (worth gate crashing SmoothWalls award ceremony for)
All the visitors to the stand who though EduGeek was a cool name
British Airways – For bumping us up to first class with a customer service second to none
The Brown Palace Hotel – For being the best hotel in Denver and having the friendliest staff
The companies at ISTE who popped over to say how nice it was to see EduGeek finally in the US
Our US and Scandinavian members who popped over to say ‘Hi’ – You made our day
Coffee and Ink – For providing us with the healthiest breakfast option, and I never used to like bagels!
American fire engines for being loud and impressive
Anyone who used the shoutbox – You kept us smiling.
US Buskers – You’ve got talent.
Our families - For letting us go for 10 days and understanding that it's important. We'll be home soon
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