And so I’m back from the Isle Across the Channel! It turned out to be quite an interesting trip, however “roots” it was looking to be.
Just like for Apple Expo, I am part of the technical support for a small area, making myself useful whenever possible. I can’t say it is always easy, but it’s a rewarding job in terms of contacts and general appreciation.
First of all, this is a very very small exhibition. It’s roughly the quarter in size, and not capped by Apple. Whereas the iPod and Macintosh company holds the reins in France, and imposes its law and methodology, in England the show is run by smaller and above all local companies, mostly press, from what I heard.
Second, the show is rather expensive. Life in London costs a lot more than in France, and the average tourist can’t really spend a week there without denting the budget big time. Here, we get the entrance ticket for free if we register early (yes I know this might not be the case forever, but as of this year, it’s still the case), there it’s a 12Â£ fee.
But what gives me the impression that the show is more like a local event than a corporate show is that everywhere you look, it’s community based. The show management is, in the first sense of the term, a family, and the show has this unique “we are like you” quality that, while it makes you feel welcomed, may prevent a really huge expansion in the foreseable future.
The fauna, therefore, is not the same at all. Most of the visitors I had a chance to talk to when I was allowed out of the black corners were here to get expert help, or to buy. They were not looking for a range of accessories more or less extravagant, or to see some mind-blowing-but-not-affordable demos, they were here to learn new things about their way to use a Mac, and to buy software or accessories that they need. And I say Macintosh. The iPods were here of course, but not overly present. That may account for the relatively small size of the show, in part.
Of course, since my job was finished, I stayed only the first day, but I had a very different feeling from the Paris show.
All in all, it was as I said earlier interesting in many respects. I even had enough time to take a few pictures.