Thursday, May 06, 2010

Show me the best you've got

I appear to be in training for a marathon blogging session at Finovate next Tuesday in San Francisco. My training is unusual in its form: avoid doing anything related to the event for at least two weeks before the big day. Why? Because to blog for eight hours straight is going to deserve focus and a clean plate. It was time to do some real work for a while so I'm not distracted at the event by all the other stuff I feel I should be doing.

Despite the numerous calls and pitches from the PR firms I have chosen to ignore, I'm planning to use Finovate for what it claims it does best: I am going to see fast-paced demonstrations delivered by the best and brightest financial services focused technology companies, and on the basis of the demo alone assess what's going to be the next big thing in the finserv technology space. Or to use Finovate's own words:

With Finovate's signature mix of short, fast-paced onstage demos (no slides allowed) from handpicked companies and intimate networking time with their executives, this conference packs a ton of unique value into a single day.

How can a short demo, with no Powerpoint be the best way to understand a new, innovative product? In short, it is not. And at the same time, it proves how easy it will be for prospective customers to understand the value and the message related to new technology products.

Technologist talk in their local industry babble. Customer's speak their own in-house babble. Somewhere in the middle the only understandable discussion comes from the way a set of English words haven't been abused for their own limited purposes. If a company at Finovate can show their product in a way that makes sense to me, while I'm only half paying attention and blogging, the demo is actually interesting to watch, the product sounds valuable and the presenter even makes me laugh, then that is a signal of potential success. Those companies and PR firms should give me a call again after the event so I can write a little more about what they do.

To everybody that I currently know nothing about, Tuesday is your chance to shine. Do well, and there is a good chance that you will sell well to customers in every subsequent sales demo you do. Bore the 'whatever' out of me and you should be probably going to the accountancy conference up the street where your brand of fast-paced, low-risk 'value' will be more appreciated.

To everybody presenting: good luck! I look forward to blogging about your demos live from the event, and writing more about the best of you soon after.

A post from the Improving It blog


Brad Garland said...

From someone who's been on the blogger side two years prior to this year being on the presenter side (RiskKey) I can tell you from experience that it's a wild ride and you should plan not to see straight by the end.

Seeya there!

Phil Ayres said...

Thanks for the warning Brad. And good luck with your presentation.