I am writing the "final thoughts"-posts because it seems interesting for me to have somebody's general idea to conferences like this. They are not cheap, so you should be planning them as efficient as possible.
What did I expect from Directions EMEA? Actually not very much. It was the first time in Europe for not that big of an audience: about 300 attendees. First time is always challenging, because you just don't know how the audience reacts, expects, ... .
When I was looking at the agenda, there were quite many ISV sessions, which I love since Directions US. ISV's have to pay for a session of 1 hour. This is a first "filtering" of only getting "serious" ISV's that you're going to listen to. This doesn't mean that solution is going to be "great", but it tells something about the dedication.
"Dedication" is another thing you just feel in a conference like Directions. And it destinguishes it from the rest... . The conference is organized BY NAV partners FOR NAV partners. The organizing partners are dedicated to the product , as are the attending partners. And that's something you could feel in the US, but also now at Directions EMEA.
I'm trying to "launch" a product myself (our "iFacto Integration Framework") and I definitely am convinced now ... that this is not easy! There were some executive sessions about "partnering" or "going abroad", so I have been attending these sessions as well. They were all educative and have put my feet back on the ground. Our product is mature and finished, but our marketing sure isn't. As we all know, the marketing around the product is equally important as the product itself. Anyway, still have some work there... .
To get the people in touch with our product, we choose to have an expo booth. This means: two evenings, during the reception, you have a table to show your product. So people could walk around with their beers from one booth to the other. We got some good contacts out of it. You know that every soul is a NAV partner, so everyone is interesting to talk to . It's actually an interesting concept. About everyone goes to the reception ... So about every goes to the expo .
And also, this directions I was asked to present my own session ... But this was covered in previous post. So, also this convention was worth going to ... at least for me .
Here are some pics:
Me, in my most "gay" hand-position ever on photo, explaining our IIF to Alain Krikilion.
From left to right: Meral Muhlbacher (SQLPerform), Hynek Muhlbacher (SQLPerform), me and Mark Brummel (Liberty Grove).
The MVP-Lunch. From left to right: Alain Krikilion, Luc Van Dyck, Michael Rosenorn, me and Jörg Stryk.
I was there, unfortunatly the only person I recognized and had a chance to say hello and talk to was Hynek (he was one of my Navision trainer in the UK back in 1997) and Jorg.
I've recollection having seen Luc, Eric & Mark but back then I did not have a picture to put against the names, so next time I will say hello :-)