By: Dennis Clarke.
Whilst walking down, visiting the different booths and stages, chatting a bit with booth owners and other visitors, with the ‘nominee badge’ around my neck, I felt like the happiest man in the world. Here and there I picked up some freebies in the form of goodie bags, snacks and beverages. Not that that’s in my Dutch nature by the way, it’s what they are there for and it would be a shame not to enjoy nor indulge during this once-in-a-year event.
Just as I thought I had visited most of the nice booths, my eyes caught a staircase leading to a second level of the exhibition hall, previously not visible. When I walked up the stairs a film crew was shooting some video and my eyes fell on the host with a microphone, paired with a big camera and sound system interviewing a booth holder, and what have you. ‘Oh, this is where the more interesting booths are’, I immediately thought.
I saw big names in the investment and online casino industry. Some of which I recognized from tv and online ads. It was then when I almost felt like I got shocked for a moment. Right between two very well-known banking firms I saw it. The name of one of the other nominees’ website in very big neon light letters above a booth. It was no mystery that a booth that size would cost substantial amounts of money to rent for the 3 days the exhibition took.
Almost camouflaged in flat screens, piles of goodie bags and expensive rebranded bottles of what seemed vodka, I saw three people. One person seemed like the traditional rich tech-geek, in a posh pull-over wearing diamond rimmed glasses, which shined like the sun. To me it looked like he came straight out of a YouTube video channel in the genre of ‘How to escape the nine to five life with your own website.’ The other two people at the booth didn’t look as fancy, and I guessed they definitely were the employees, not partners featured in my imaginary YouTube video of some sort.
I decided to walk up to the booth, towards the tech-geek. I awaited my turn until he was finished talking with a different visitor and introduced myself afterwards. He shook my hand and told me his name was Eric. In the conversation that followed I learned that he was from Denmark. The reason why he was nominated and shortlisted was because he created some sort of trading robot, that could automatically place trades for stock traders.
Whilst I knew how to make a website and maintain it, there was no chance in a million years I could develop an algorithmic trading robot. He had seen from my badge that I was also nominated in the Best Foreign language category but didn’t see me as a competitor or anything. He actually admired it and acted as a friend from the first few sentences we exchanged. Although I was a little bit jealous, there was simply no way I could do what he did and I actually thought at that moment my chances of winning were very slim.
After the conversation Eric introduced me to his two employees, who both came from Croatia and handled his support department and blog. I didn’t even have a support department. The only support I could give the visitors of my own written blog, was myself. Eventually Eric invited me for dinner together with his employees to share some ideas and strategies, which I accepted. I thanked Eric for the invitation and told him I would be at the given location at half past six. I left the exhibition hall and went back to the Airbnb place. I wanted to recoup some things and change before dinner.
By: Dennis Clarke
Produced by: Eugenio Zorrilla.
Photo credits Laurel Wreath Kiersten Cress @kierstenshae on Unsplash
Photo credits Italian Food Cloris Ying @clorisyy on Unsplash
Photo credits Trade Show Product School @productschool on Unsplash
Photo credits Airport JESHOOTS.com