Throughout the late ‘80s and ‘90s, if you wanted to be taken seriously as a technology provider, you had to exhibit at all the top shows. It’s no secret that over the past decade, technology trade shows and events in the U.S. have fallen out of favor with marketers. The time and costs associated with exhibiting heavily outweighed the return on investment. This isn’t necessarily the case in the rest of the world – especially in the EMEA and APAC regions – where trade shows often play a critical role in furthering strategic partnerships, building brand awareness, driving press coverage, and pushing leads through the funnel.
Last week I had the privilege to attend and exhibit our products and services at the annual Embedded World 2011 event in Nurnberg, Germany. With an estimated record attendance of 250,000 attendees, the show was and will continue to be a “must-have” for Lantronix marketing efforts.
What was of particular interest was the final day of the show – Student Day – where more than one thousand students from around Europe were provided free admission. Throughout my conversations with several dozen engineering students, I was surprised to hear almost unanimously the lack of support they and their universities received from technology companies. In the days before the Internet, high tech marketers often implemented “University Programs” – in effect, seeding the market with their products in hopes that after graduation, a new pool of talent would hit the market, already well-versed in their company’s products and technology. The Internet, coupled with the proliferation of wireless devices (iPads, smartphones) has led to a reliance by technology manufacturers on the newest distribution mediums. This, in turn, has created a void – and an opportunity for companies such as Lantronix, as these students are our future customers, partners, investors, and employees. By providing access to our products and related development kits in the actual classroom, we can nurture these future evangelists for the long term.
Case-in-point: I had the opportunity to meet Georg Ottinger, an Austrian grad student, who recently took second prize in our XPort Pro contest for his creation of the OggStreamer, a unique audio-streaming device based on XPort Pro. His enthusiasm around the industry was so inspiring that Lantronix agreed to “sponsor” his research by providing him and his colleagues with up to 10 free XPort Pros for research, development and prototyping. Covered in the Austrian press, we are thrilled to be working with Georg. If you understand German, check out the below links to learn more about Georg and Lantronix:
Tüftler gewinnt Preis aus dem Silicon Valley:
Netzwerken, experimentieren und sogar Preise einheimsen: