Bigger, shinier and better

Oracle Open World is one of the largest tech events to hit San Francisco. This infographic gives some ideas of the scale of the event last year. 50,000 attendees, 1m online, 2,500 sessions and 450 exhibitors. So how big will it be this year?

All around the world (last year 123 countries) people are preparing to make the annual pilgrimage to Oracle’s user conference. Many are repeat offenders and coming back to drink from the firehose of information on the huge range of Oracle products and services. Others are new and are probably not really ready for the shock and awe of this mega event.

Make your trip memorable

Only a handful of people are locals so the FREE “Insiders Guide to San Francisco” should be invaluable. Sponsored by (exhibitor logistics management) and Zuant (mobile lead capture), it has all the essential information about getting around San Francisco (planes, trains and automobiles). The authors asked the locals about the favorite restaurants that no-one else knows about. And finally the book has all the boring touristy stuff – plus the cool stuff you’d never discover on your own.

It is all leading up to this

The amount of planning and co-ordination to be able to exhibit at OracleOpenWorld shouldn’t be underestimated. Even more so for those exhibitors coming from overseas, outside the USA.

  • The countless planning meetings and conference calls.

  • Sifting through bids from suppliers for all the outsourced activities; design, stand build, logistics, printing

  • Hammering out contracts and tracking changes through to the final version

  • The spreadsheet from hell as you try to control all the costs.

  • Accommodating the stand workers schedules and travel requirements.

  • And the list goes on and on.

So what did you forget? By this time next week, you will discover whether all the planning and management delivers the results. But you still have to get through the next week. In the office, travelling and on site.

So this is where cloud based apps help. There is no danger of files or documents left back in the office.

There has to be a better way

When you look back, there is limited IT support for the process of planning and co-ordinating this event over the last 12 months. It has probably been a combination of different installed and web-based apps. has been created to change the planning and management experience for event planners, organizers and suppliers. For FREE.

It is WAY too late for this to make a difference for Oracle OpenWorld 2013, but what about your next conference or OOW14?

Do the business

This event is all about education, networking and, for the exhibitors, it is all about lead generation. With 50,000 delegates, 4 days and 450 exhibitors, then the stand workers will have their work cut out to talk to everybody. What is critical is that the conversations that they do have are of high value, are relevant and are captured.

  • High value; are you talking to the right person through qualifying questions?

  • Relevant; can you provide the information they need without piles of brochures?

  • Captured; the devil is in the detail so have you documented and shared exactly what was said?

For most exhibitors they are using technology from a bygone age. Scanned bar codes or pen and paper. Which is ironic at a conference filled with the most up to date technology.

But 8 companies are better prepared that the other 450. They are using the Zuant app which is designed for lead capture on an iPad. They will have structured questions to qualify, all the marketing collateral online and the ability to capture exactly what was discussed on the stand. And there’s no processing after the show, as the data can move instantly across to sales for follow-up, the moment the lead is saved.

Go and visit their stands to see what the future looks like – they are all using Zuant. ADP, Advisional, BackOffice Associates, Dbvisit Software, Vizaya, Zannett and BuzzClan. With still a week to go, there will probably be more companies using Zuant as they are signing up every day.

Follow up, follow up, follow up

What will differentiate you more than any other action is if you do what you say you are going to do. If you say you are going to call – call. If you say you are going to send some information – send some information. If you say you are going to email – email!

The industry statistic is that 83% of leads at tradeshows are not followed up. That is a criminal waste.

Both and Zuant have a part to play. Within you can allocate tasks to people and collaborate on next steps, and Zuant has all the lead capture information stored centrally.

Get out

Finally, have fun and make sure you see more than just your hotel and the Moscone Center. San Francisco is a great city.