Speaking at Cisco Live! in Milan, senior George P Johnson (GPJ) staff have discussed the changing nature of events and the challenges faced at venues.
George P Johnson vice president operations Chris Doggart said that 40% of those who visit Cisco Live! are first timers, meaning the format is always fresh for them.
“The first year you go into a venue, you have an idea of how it’ll work but then you put it all in and realise there’s things you could’ve done differently,” he said. “The first time you come into a venue it’s just concrete walls and you have to realise it is a living, breathing thing.”
Doggart went on to discuss the challenges GPJ faced over the years honing people flow, and finding out how visitors reacted to the venue.
“It’s interesting how doing an event for a number of years, the trends change, but then some come back around. It’s cyclical,” he said. “The Social Media Studio has been an interesting evolution for us. The first year I saw it, it was hidden away at our US show. But we realised that we should chuck it out onto the floor as people are fascinated by what’s going on in it.”
GPJ’s Stella Alexander told Access that the Social Media Studio was put at the front of the event for maximum impact.
“We took ideas from various events including the Cisco San Francisco event, which featured a DJ,” she said. “We weren’t sure if it’d work for a European audience but the reactions been great. It provides a place for people to meet and interact.”
Elsewhere, GPJ’s vice president of business development Kevin Jackson discussed the modus operandi of the exhibitors at the show.
“Content is king and we’re trying to pass on content that makes employees better at their job instead of people trying to sell you stuff,” he said. “It’s about asking ‘what can I do to make your life easier Mr Delegate’.”