I attended Smart Summit London (Internet of Things exhibition) held on 21st and 22nd September 2016 at Kensington Olympia, London, to get a clearer idea of the kind of automated technology available and what marketing applications there might be for the Internet of Things (IOT).
As a marketer, I deal in data and how I can use that data to find new customers, or provide a better service for existing customers. The IOT provides a great opportunity to use data we as consumers create every day but don’t usually harness to provide us with real benefits.
Why Did I Attend?
My mindset was on looking at the data companies have now found ways to collect for useful purposes and how that could be applied to marketing. For example, a fridge that monitors its contents. Perhaps a client could purchase advertising space on the fridge’s monitor to suggest products the consumer might like? Even better would be to offer the user the opportunity to opt-in to a series of recipe videos that just happen to feature brands that have paid to be mentioned.
One of the main reasons I attended was because Smart Summit was so close to the Technology for Marketing event being held the following week. As such, I didn’t have a solid idea of what I would get out of it, but saw Smart Summit as a way to build up knowledge in another area of marketing.
How Was the Venue?
The venue had a compact vibe and as such, spending a singe day, or even a morning or afternoon would be enough to see everything. I feel that this event was an opportunity to target specific organisations or technology providers you want to interact with and go straight to them, not so much for someone to learn more about new technology outside of the keynote speakers.
I was especially interested to hear from Rikesh Shah, Lead Digital Relationship Manager for Transport for London (TfL).
Rikesh has been working with TfL for over 15 years in various marketing and communications roles. Currently, he is a senior manager at TfL, responsible for Digital Partnerships which involves supporting the development of a wide range of customer facing digital products and services – including open data – that supports TfL’s objectives as well the company’s digital strategy. Rikesh has a degree in Economics/Social Policy and an MSc. in Marketing Management as well as being a Chartered Marketer.
Rikesh’s talk was very engaging and definitely the kind of thing I was looking to get out of this conference. Rikesh spoke on important topics including how data can be used to improve TfL’s services.
In terms of Rikesh’s career, it’s definitely the kind of path I’d like to take. I’m especially interested in helping the West Midlands region’s growth strategy and Rikesh is contributing to something similar on a larger scale.
Key Business Sectors Represented
At the Smart Cities portion of the summit, the following key decision makers in attendance:
Government authorities, city leaders, town planners, construction companies, connectivity specialists, transport providers, investors, travel agencies, technology providers, industry associations and Press.
Those being represented at the Smart Homes portion of the summit in 2016 were:
Standards bodies, technology providers, TELCOs, energy companies, semiconductor companies, application service providers, CE providers, home security companies, home automation organisations, service providers, media companies, content owners, and software companies among others.
While there, I discovered a few companies with products I found particularly interesting that had good applications for marketing. I especially liked:
For Future Exhibitions
A lot of different types of people and companies were in attendance but I didn’t really see any opportunities to get in contact with any businesses. Or rather I didn’t see any businesses I could work with from a marketing perspective.
My decision to attend wasn’t planned as far in advance as I think would allow me to get the best out of the event. Attending was a last minute decision as I had some spare time. Having an idea of the exhibitions you’d like to attend at least a month beforehand, even if you don’t yet have a solid plan would produce better outcomes..
The next time I attend this exhibition (and pencilling it into my diary a little sooner), I’ll take a closer look at the type of organisations and people that will be there and make a definite plan to get in contact with specific types of people for specific reasons.
Overall, it was a good event, but for me, the main reason to go back would be to hear the speakers. They had a great selection, speaking on some very interesting topics. I feel I’m of this opinion because Smart Summit London was designed not for marketers, but for people looking to invest in hardware and the vendors reflected this.
Why Should You Attend?
To sum up, I’d say Smart Summit London was a small, focused event that offers a lot to those looking for smart hardware solutions for their building projects. If you’re a home owner, designer or building contractor that wants to offer systems that make use of advanced technologies, then this is the place for you. If you know specifically the type of solution you’re after, I’m sure you’d find a good provider at Smart Summit.