Cloud Expo Europe with ONLYOFFICE aftermath


Monday 11, 2019 was National Holiday for me. My ONLYOFFICE friends asked me if I can help them to cover with Nikolay, the Cloud Expo Europe 2019 on March 12-13. Well, I had to book my ticket on Monday and travel the same day. Thank GOD I'm good at this. Check out my tutorials (in Greek) about how to book flight tickets and accommodation and then how to collect info about the place, packing, money etc. Well, I booked around 12.00 and my flight was at 17.30. The flight was via Munich. It's kind of "strange" because I planed another trip on May, that I'll have to change planes in Munich. Anyways, I would like to thank Galina Goduhina for helping me organizing this trip very fast.

As I told you I travel a lot, so airports is my second home ;-)
It was my first time in London. Since I went unorganized, my first problem was the ticket for transportation in London. Well, I have to buy an Oyster card (or if you are visitor, buy the Visitor Oyster card). The card can be bought from the machine and it costs 5pounds (they refund after you return the card to the machine). A cool thing that they have is when you don't have credits on your Oyster card, you can use your contactless credit/debit card to open the gates in and again out (and the system charge you the best fair).

Anyways, I arrive at hotel and then had to check in. First shock. I see only the bar. A guy with a phone+POS next to the bar. I ask him where is the reception and he tells me that he's the reception. A very clever way to help customers and also save space. They use whatsapp to contact the reception for requests.

First day at the expo. Nikolay knew where to go because he went the day before to check the space. We set up our space and we were waiting for people to come and ask us. Personally I think that the spot was perfect. Although we had small booth (compared to other companies), the spot was on the crossroad going from the entrance to cloud and blockchain.

ONLYOFFICE booth at Cloud Expo Europe

Although we didn't have beautiful women or fancy games with a price to attract visitors, just like other companies, we had perfect attitude and aura. During my open source years I was taught the "offensive" marketing. Well I was standing in front of our desk (don't see the picture above. It was only for the picture ;-) ). Saying "hello", "good morning" with a smile it has 2 results. A hello back or just ignore. Personally don't care about the second kind of people. The nice and polite ones usually say hello. I gave our leaflet to some of them. If the person is interested in our product, he'll talk to us. If not, then he'll get the leaflet, maybe other freebie and go. Believe me when I say freebies at the expo, I mean you can have everything you can imagine (from wardrobe to kitchen cabinets). I got a light sword.

With my light sword at ONLYOFFICE booth

During my "break", I had the opportunity to walk around the expo. Well, a lot of companies and technology that I don't understand. When I started my trip to the open source world, my friend Theo used to translate in Greek. I couldn't understand what he was talking about, even in Greek. This walk reminded me those years. I had a pleasant "accident". Although ONLYOFFICE registered my name as exhibitor, I made a "mistake" and I registered as visitor on their site. During the registration for a badge, we tried the manual registration. The exhibitor code failed. So I tried the visitor code and I've got my badge. Then we realized a counter for exhibitors registration. The lady told me that I'm already registered and she didn't give me the exhibitor badge (it was mission impossible to change badges). That means I had to wait for the doors to open (so Nikolay setup alone). Also during my walk, all the exhibitors talked to me as I visitor. Maybe it was for my advantage? Who knows?

I've also visited huge companies and smaller ones. I'll drop some names. IBM, CISCO, McAfee, Symantec, Samsung, Docker, Github, Gitlab, Puppet, MongoDB, Box, T Systems, Siemens, Oracle, Malwarebytes, NGNIX, Teamviewer etc. There were many competitions. I won a small drone from dhosting.

SIEMENS, don't have a clue what's for

The second day was less stressed. I mean we knew where we had to go, everything was set. We had to cover some parts we missed the first day such as multiplug for the screen and laptop to show everything on a big screen, figure out about the scanner the organizers provided (for a fee of course). We run out of swag but this is a good thing in general. Nikolay didn't want to return back to the office with weight plus it means a lot of people passed by. Usually at the conferences I attend, most visitors come on the first day. This one was an expo (there were some talks too) and it was during the week. People work during the week, so I guess we had the same amount of visitors during those two days.

We talked to many people, some were important, some just visitors. We had very positive feedback from everyone. It was a great experience for me. I'm used of the open source conferences where everything is smooth. This was more professional. It's an expo (meaning business). I will be happy to help the project in the future since I have more experience how to contact with people.

Read more at official ONLYOFFICE blog. Soon I'll publish a video of my trip to London.

I would like to thank ONLYOFFICE for sponsoring my trip to London. I hope I helped the project and the company a lot.

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