NEC Display UK’s annual flagship event in London, the #NECShowcase has had its ups and downs in the ten years it has been held. Untypical, often crazy locations each year made this an event that folks always wanted to pop along to (if it wasn’t too far outside Central London).
Who can forget the 2011 event, partly tented in the old Battersea Power Station (complete with Pink Floyd music in the background).
To be fair there have been many more ups than downs (the event held at the Olympic Velodrome was a down in our eyes; too far away for many people, with a venue – indeed a Velodrome, not wonderfully conducive to holding conferences or networking easily with others – one spent most of their time walking around, in what seemed like a concrete underground car park).
However, for the first time ever in its history, the event has returned to the same venue for a second year in a row, namely Victoria House, in Bloomsbury (Bloomsbury Square Gardens is behind the building, and the British Museum is the other side).
Many who attended last year may have been put off by this venue (we certainly were BUT we’re glad we went and tried it for a second time). In 2017 the venue was hard to navigate, hot, crowded and there was hardly any space to sit, relax and network, which as with all successful exhibitions (and indeed conferences) is a big reason why many actually people attend.
Scrub all that, because the #NECShowcase is 100% back to its best. The floor plan has really been thought about, the exhibitors are out in force and putting everything in context, the food is always good at an #NECShowcase and this year is no different – indeed, one of Beaver Group’s many QSR clients, Pod is also there serving up food in a well put together pop-up store, complete of course with accurate and informative digital signage.
The organisers have put together a theme based around a London Underground commute, complete with wayfinding, fun signs and all of the exhibitors have played along with nicely themed content. There is plenty of space to sit, stand, relax, network and indeed one of the joys of this event each year is meeting a lot of the undesirables and freeloaders who don’t pay to go to anything else!
The conference sessions have also been good with AV User Group Chairman Owen Ellis and AV Magazine Editor in Chief Clive Couldwell doing a great job with the panels on the Wednesday, but the real attraction today will be rAVepubs’ CEO and Founder Gary Kayye doing a presentation in the morning (11:00 – 12:00 ‘The emergence of the collaboration board in huddle spaces’) and a presentation in the afternoon (15:00 – 16:00 ‘Rumours of the demise of the projector have been greatly exaggerated: The Future of Projection’). He is passionate, incredibly knowledgeable and a great speaker.
It may not be the best ever #NECShowcase we’ve been to (Tobacco Docks is / was our clear favourite) but the event is back to its best and if you travel by London Underground to the event (get off at Holborn) it’s surreal to see NEC Display Solution’s DX3 cross-track projection display Exterion Media and TfL advertising during your journey, then step into a very similar ‘world’ when you head downstairs at Victoria House.
If you are in London today you need to pop along!