At last we are finally starting to hear a little more about Canada’s first digital trade show after its being announced back in March – but we’re not sure yet it’ll be the type of digital show we envisioned.
In fact, we’re not sure that – so far – the show shouldn’t simply be called the ‘Mobile and Online Show’, because it looks like that’s where the emphasis will be: mobile and online. That’s not too surprising since Canadians in general seem to immediately think ‘online’ when digital is mentioned, although mobile is becoming much more a regular consideration.
DOOH is definitely not top-of-mind, although the organizers, Dx3 Canada, says that they are interested in all forms of digital.
We notice that the logo now reads ‘Where business meets digital’. Since we are well aware of the convergence of mobile-social-local in addition to digital out-of-home, and what some people consider separate: shopper marketing, we believe all of these certainly fit into business’ interest in digital.
Back in March we were told that, with Canada being a small country in terms of population and companies, the organizers wanted an all-inclusive digital show because, to concentrate on one or two sectors wouldn’t be enough for a large show. With so many digital companies in Canada, “to limit ourselves wouldn’t be practical,” Anthony Lipkin, marketing manager, told us at the time. That doesn’t really seem to be the case, so far.
Lipkin says that the show has to date enlisted three associations as partners: IAB Canada, the Mobile Marketing Association and the Location-based Marketing Association. (Lipkin was not aware of CODACAN – which indicates to us that CODACAN is not marketing itself well.) And the show, scheduled for Jan 25 and 26, is more than likely to have a tie-in with the Institute of Communication Agencies and with Canada’s Advertising Week, Jan 23-27, 2012.
Casale Media has signed on as the platinum sponsor for the show and Lipkin says that he is looking for media and network partnerships and additional sponsors. (Casale is an online media firm, working with such clients as eBay, iVillage.com, and NBC Universal.)
The organizers claim that they have about 20 exhibitors signed up so far – although haven’t announced any yet. Lipkin says that he hopes the association partnerships will help increase these, and that many of the signed exhibitors so far are software companies.
Perhaps the makeup of the advisory board has played a role in its online and mobile concentration to date, as, from what we know, the members seem to be largely geared to those sectors and to agencies working with digital online.
One of the things we liked hearing is that the organizers are connecting with several universities and are setting aside a special incubator zone where projects developed under university programs can be showcased to possibly interest companies, developers and/or funding. There will also be an innovation zone.
While Lipkin says that there will be an educational program component, no speakers have yet been lined up. “We’re looking,” he says.
We asked him whom he expects to attend. “Digital agencies, retailers, web designers, mobile app developers, creatives, and more – a real mix,” he says.
We can’t help but think that a new show with only five months to go should be further along in its makeup. We hope that this isn’t a case more of concept than execution and that it’s farther along than we believe. With a showfloor of 100,000 sq. ft. plus about a dozen meeting rooms booked at the Toronto Convention Centre for Jan. 25 and 26, we hope we’re going to be pleasantly surprised.
And if you want to be involved, contact Oliver Thomas at: (647) 317- 3888 or firstname.lastname@example.org