Yesterday I attended the Contact Centre EXPO #CCExpo14 at Olympia, Kensington, London. It use to be the Call Centre EXPO but now we’re talking multi channels!
My prize for best EXPO stand went to Ultra Communications… lots of white space and that french blue walls with a fruit bar… the guys & gals dressed in pink to give it that rock’n’roll feel… excellent work! You just had to enter their world…
Enjoy the pictures… go see what I tweeted with each picture and please RT as you feel the vibe…
I do like Olympia, it’s so easy to get to from Windsor… changing a Clapham it takes just over an hour and is less than £20 return… HURRAH!
My plan was to connect with Call Centre Managers who engage external sales trainers to boost their teams confidence but how do you do that without having a stand?
First, you need to turn up and join the queue! You never know, you might be in for a few nice surprises 😉 Strawberry please…
I went on a tour of the exhibitors to see what was new… not that I really know what’s old in this space… let’s go say hello to a few folk…
Most were obviously looking to talk to the same people I was looking to engage with so would generally find me annoying, as I do when consultants approach me on an EXPO stand… “Free loaders” comes to mind, so I tried to avoid that… one lady suggested I talk to her marketing contact at another firm, based in Staines, who were exhibiting and pointed me in the right direction… she was obviously busy sorting out the stand and her 10 helpers, so I said hello, can we talk after the show… that worked for both of us.
There was an area described as the “networking lounge” but it wasn’t really… the sponsor had taken it over with computer screens, seating for presentations and what felt like an army of 50 reps… enough to make any potential visitor run the other way!
Then I found a section of representative bodies and engaged with their people… that would be a logical way in via the education side, which Bryan represents… championed by a recognised authority in the market place, more eyes and ears would be open to hearing more…
I turned the above image into a humours tweet which Trevor promptly ReTweeted… hopefully he’ll remember me next time we talk…
Steve ran a company called Contact Babel which sounded a little strange… but then when he explained that Babel was a place in the bible where many languages were spoken, it made sense… he sells a directory of UK call centres… we may try some of data! What did I tweet around that? Go have a look…
I popped out to a famous retailer to buy my lunch as I could get a variety of items for the price of a sandwich in the hall… I guess those on expenses don’t care!
Came back in, sat at a table and proceeded to connect with a few people over lunch but they were similar to me, not the actual call centres I was hoping to talk to.
During lunch I watched one chap give a presentation over a microphone but couldn’t hear a dicky bird, his voice being relayed straight to headsets… weird, felt very disconnected… figured I have to give that a go later on in the day.
Before that, I went over to the management desk and suggested a real networking area would make sense… the one they had wasn’t that at all, it was full of 50 people wearing the same t-shirt and scaring any normal people away by their sheer number… what were they thinking?
Sat down to listen to Martha from the Royal Mail tell us a story about how they got started on Twitter and she soon learned to trust her team, allowing them to make positive engagements with those who might need a little extra love… I started well, showing this tweet to Martha, thinking she was one of the organisers 😉
— Jonathan L Davey (@wholovesyarbaby) October 1, 2014
This engagement triggered my brain to go, I know, let’s have some fun with Twitter, taking pics and sharing them with the world, some may get retweeted but more importantly, the exhibitor will see their name in lights and be smiling inside… so when next we speak, they’ll remember me fondly… marvellous!
Others had just started their lunch…
— Jonathan L Davey (@wholovesyarbaby) October 1, 2014
Go see more of my tweets from the day and please RT those you think worthy… thank you.
After a natter with the guys from Northway about the problem I’m having with ambient fizzy noises on my office phone in the shed, where they recommended a Gigaset phone to be the solution, I popped back to the “networking area” as there seemed to be more going on… well there was, the 50 guys in blue polo tops were all drinking champagne and congratulating themselves on the job well done… wish I’d got a picture but I do have this of part of the “networking space” where folk are being talked at!
Time was ticking on, nearly time to go, just one more chat… I turned to the chap next to me and said, “A bit too much blue going on in there don’t you think?” Five minutes later he told me who he was, Customer Service Director for Tesco!
I tried to be cool and asked calmly what he was looking for from the show… now I know, best find him a solution from those in my world!
Another lesson learned there, don’t go early because it ain’t over until the fat lady sings 😉 And there will be one fat bloke singing if I win that bottle of whiskey!
Finally, anyone need 73,000 square feet of call centre space in Yorkshire? Give me a nudge and I’ll join the dots and we can both earn a drink out of it!
It’s almost the end of the story but not quite… got back to Windsor after a long day walking miles round the EXPO only to find, for the 100th time, the Vodafone network was down, down, down and I couldn’t call home to get someone to pick me up! Last thing you blinking well need after a long tiring day…
Thank goodness that Metro Bank don’t close at 5PM but stay open till 8PM during the week… popped in, could I make a local call, no problem sir, would you like ice in your water while you wait?
Thank you to Selina, Denis & Shannon from Windsor’s Metro Bank for some great customer service, yummy cookies and ensuring I didn’t have to walk another 2 miles home yesterday!
And thank you to you for reading this story… and if you need a quality sales programme for your sales team or if you run an EXPO and need to get more exhibitors & folks through the door then talk to me or Will Corry from The Marketing Blog… we can make your dreams come true 😉
It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!