Our secret weapon was popcorn. Not a techie alive could resist it, we figured. And we were proved right as they were drawn in droves to Stand C7 at this year’s Apps World.
For those who don’t know the event, it’s a two-day conference and exhibition at ExCel London, which showcases the cutting edge of mobile app development. We’ve supported it for three years - and this time round went all out as gold sponsor, boasting one of the biggest and brightest stands of the lot. Yes, it meant investment - and took a four-strong team away from the office - but, as we see it, it’s absolutely worth it.
For a start, the event has always proved fruitful as far as business wins are concerned. And 2016 was no exception. Strategist Ben Lind, for example, did us proud by closing a deal with a start-up set to revolutionise payments and pricing in restaurants. You’ll no doubt hear more about that one… Paul Morris also opened discussions with a potential engineer client, who will be visiting our office in Newcastle for further talks.
Much of the benefit from Apps World, though, lies in how it helps us build our brand presence as one of the country’s largest independent app developers. Thanks to nifty badge scanning technology, for example, we can confirm that over the two days, we spoke to roughly 200 people this year, nearly 70 of whom we’ll be staying in touch with. Whether or not that leads to long-term partnerships, it certainly gives us, mobile app developers, tremendous insight into potential markets.
And what was nice for me, as the Chief Commerical Officer at hedgehog lab, was that so many good conversations - including those with representatives of global engineering and consumer goods firms - were driven by our own thought leadership. That sense of authority was reinforced with a talk from Alan Morris, our Technical Director, on best practice in healthcare app development. And on the second day, our CEO, Sarat Pediredla, spoke about our premium positioning within the industry during a TechTalk Show interview.
Overall, it was a hugely enjoyable event, featuring a wide range of interesting speakers and helpful workshops. We were also pleased to see it move with the times so seamlessly through embracing new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality. That’s a sector we’ve been eyeing for a while and Apps World provided full confirmation that now is the time to invest.
It likewise gave us great insights into industries such as travel and healthcare, and, most importantly, got us hedgehogs thinking about where we’ll show up next to spread the word about what we do. Provided we've got our trusty popcorn, the world is surely our oyster.
Did you know that NASA is using HoloLens to train astronauts for the visit to Mars?