Some contemplative reactions to the Virtual IMS from an Exhibitor – the comments are my own and may not be indicative of other’s experience or their impression of the vIMS. The live portion of the Virtual IMS concluded on August 6th though much of the Conference is available On-Demand thru September 30th. I encourage you to visit the Conference website (https://ims-ieee.org/).
If I had to rate my experience with the vIMS on a scale of 1 thru 5, I’d give it a 1. I was underwhelmed by the interface as I noted in my earlier blog post, and the “traffic” through my booth was minimal at best. Once I subtracted out the industry friends who swung past for a look, the numbers were quite dismal. All told, the show regrettably met my low expectations.
Despite the poor experience I had, I am happy that I gave it a shot. There was little to lose and very much to gain. I enjoy being a “charter member” or “early adopter” for events in our industry and this was no different.
Looking back, I liken the vIMS to the first time IMS went to Hawaii in 2007. Honolulu was presented as a unique way to engage with markets that were often out of reach. Despite initial reservations – cost of travel chief among them – I decided to exhibit. Of course, expectations (built by the pre-show hype) did not come close to reality. However, if I am to be a supporter (some might say steward) of the industry, I feel like I have to try a variety of things. I wised up when IMS made its inexplicable return to Honolulu again in 2017 dialing back both expectations and level of involvement as an exhibitor. Should IMS2021 in Atlanta need to become a vIMS, the sell to the exhibitors will be much harder. I will certainly look more critically at the idea of participating again.
Lots of negative in this post, time for some positive. A huge amount of thanks goes to Tim Lee, General Chair IMS2020 – I know he and his large team of volunteers worked extremely hard on the original IMS2020. Tim was looking forward to the opportunity for the industry to see what LA could offer in its return to his city for the first time since 1981. To quickly pivot from an in-person show to a virtual one took a tremendous amount of effort in a very short amount of time. Thanks, too, go to Lee Wood and his team at MP Associates. Their calm and reasonable handling of 600 exhibitors belies the chaos that surrounded them. It was certainly an “interesting” way for MP to exit as the Conference’s Exhibit and Events Manager. I am saddened that I was not able to thank them in person for their 12 years of handling our industries showcase event. I’ll have more on the MP exit and Horizon House entrance in a later posting.
In the meantime, stay safe and wash those hands!