I visited on Thursday - and talking to some of the exhibitors with sore heads the after show party on Wenesday was worth going too!
Normally if you went to the mens washroom and a complete stranger started to tell you about himself - after kindly demonstrating how to overcome the vagaries of the infra red water taps - you might get a bit twitchy and move on as quickly as possible. But at Soccerex there is an almost unwritten rule that any contact could be a business lead - and so it proved with my washroom man. Not that we are meeting next month anywhere but in a public place!
I found the mixture of exhibitors interesting and informative. Several of these are FTD clients and there is a comradre at Soccerex I don't see at any other big trade show - where people will go out of their way to introduce you to another contact they think will be mutally beneficial. And that's a two way street as I found myself introducing people to some of our clients.
With hundreds of delegates if not thousands you can't hope to talk to even a small percentage in a day. But I came away from the show having made about two dozen rock solid contacts that will open new doors for FTD and I think that is a very positive outcome from a day well spent.
It also gave me an opportunity to promote FTD to more people and the importance of networking face to face can never be underestimated in my view. We live in the age of linkedin and facebook and I use both on a regular basis. But there's a danger we use these as replacements for personal contact. On reflection, that's what make Soccerex for me the fact that good old one to one contact is the order of the day - and long may that continue.