A marketeer rookie guide to attending my first technology event.

My blog on the Dell Technologies Forum 2022: London

Firstly, I would like to start out by saying I am so thankful it didn’t rain 😄

After two trains, a tube, a bus ride and a bit of a walk, the thought of arriving at the Dell Technologies Forum 2022 bedraggled and soaked was the stuff of nightmares.

With this being the first event in IT I have ever attended and my first for Axess Systems, I was excited and nervous in equal measure, but I was so ready to make a good impression and learn.

While the Dell Technologies Forum had the aspirational objective to “expand the minds of technology users and to promote the betterment of life-changing improvements”, I was there with my objective… to take in everything Dell Technologies had to say and to learn as much as I could around the marketing and branding on show.

Upon arrival at the venue, it really did solidify that I had made it.

With the sun shining, the building looked resplendent and was positively gleaming in the Dell Technologies branding.

But sometimes, it is the simple things which make a more significant personal impact. Collecting my conference pass with my name and company made me feel special. It was official; I’m part of the Axess Systems Team. And I had to tweet it straight away! (Follow us @AxessSystems)

Walking into the Magazine London Venue, I was taken aback by the turnout. Even though the venue was indeed huge, it was packed.

Every part of the venue was filled with stands with bold messaging, asking, “Are You Ready for a Cyber Challenge?”, “Apex and Back Up Storage”. If I’m being honest, some of the messaging went over my head, but I’m sure I’ll get to know it all soon.

And despite my lack of F1 knowledge, just as striking was an F1 Grand Prix winning car from the McLaren racing team, which powered to victory using Dell Technologies. That’s Dell for the win!

Wandering around the exhibition stands, one thing that really stood out, and that was the stand from Insight, or should I say, a clear glass bank safe.

The safe featured “Power Up” branding, which tied to the Dell Technologies Power portfolio of servers and storage, along with the opportunity to win “Power Up” drinks and McLaren merchandise.

This attracted vast numbers of people, all hoping to win the McLaren merchandise while hearing about the Dell Technologies portfolio.

So true to my objective of learning as much as possible about marketing and branding, I tracked down the genius behind the stand, James Kilroy, Partner Marketing Manager at Insight.

It was great to listen to James about his concepts and thinking behind the stand. Well played, James, on engaging all the elements of Dell Technologies and their F1 sponsorship programme!

I, too, engaged in trying to win, but sadly no McLaren merchandise for me, just a Power Up Drink. And no! I haven’t tried it…yet.

Once I’d looked around the exhibition stands, I took in as many speakers and presentations as I could.

Following his presentation, I tracked down/stalked James Watts, Senior Principal Engineer at Dell Technologies, who explained to me what Dell Optimizer entails and its benefits.

Before speaking to James, what sprung to my mind when someone mentioned Artificial Intelligence was robots and machines taking over and handling all human jobs and finally gaining world domination.

So, I was very relieved to hear that the AI in Dell Technologies software is far more helpful and, thankfully, a lot less scary, as it will monitor your hardware platform and report any problems immediately. So, if you are predicted to use too much storage, the AI will alert you to buy before you run out.  

On a side note, one thing I found funny about it being a technology event was that there was no mobile signal.

Although perhaps this was the point, as to connect face-to-face instead of being distracted by your phone. Although I was keen to update the socials, it posed an additional challenge. Nonetheless, I stayed true to my social posting.

The main plenary involved a variety of very thought-provoking speakers who made an impact on me.

This was especially the case with Stuart Moss, Head of IT Rolls Royce and Nick Goldup, Director of Care Improvement at Motor Neurone Disease Association. 

They took the audience through an emotional journey of technology’s impact on the betterment of people who suffer from the rare condition Motor Neurone Disease (MND). 

MND affects the brain and nerves by deteriorating muscles, leading to loss of speech, muscle control and, ultimately, death.

In the past, many people who suffered from MND decided to record vowels in a recording studio, which would then be spliced together to make words and sentences. This, unfortunately, gave an unrealistic synthesised voice and was stressful as it entailed leaving their home.

Through a partnership with Rolls Royce, Dell Technologies, Intel and MND Association, they now have the opportunity to ‘bank their voice’.

This entails recording their voices in the comfort of their home with their loved ones, which I’m sure you’ll agree is amazing?! Phrases like “I Love You” & “I Miss You” are some of the common terms that are banked. 

There was yet another treat in store for us all with Louis Theroux – you may know him as a documentarian, journalist, broadcaster, and author or, according to his eldest son, “the most cringe guy in the Universe”.

I must admit I had no knowledge of Louis until I was five rows in front of him for his talk. But a particular moment that stood out was his experience making the documentary “Surviving America’s Most Hated Family”, accompanied by his hilarious American accent. I took from him the importance of having a balanced mind to explore the different lives and mindsets of set individuals.

And not coming from an IT background opened my eyes to the many possibilities technology brings to people, organisations and humanity as a whole.

Another great Speaker, Dr Eliza Filby, writer, speaker and consultant of Generational Intelligence, only reinforced this feeling.

She made a compelling argument about the distinguishable differences between the generations and how technology has shaped all our lives.

The fun part was guessing everyone’s age when asked to raise their hands according to the generational chart.

Even though I had come in with next to zero knowledge of the IT specifics like hardware and software systems, the presentations, stand, and speakers did a phenomenal job in expanding my interest and knowledge.

And it was inspiring to meet other women who have proven themselves in Tech and be able to put names to faces. Hello! Amy Brady, Dell EMC Business Unit Director at TD SYNNEX.

So, what have I taken away from my first technology event as a marketeer with Axess Systems?

The short answer is so many things, but specifically:

The power of branding to reinforce a message – watch out, Axess House; it’s time to get some colour in the building.

It’s often the details which mean the most – my conference pass. 

How an outstanding exhibition stand creates sales opportunities – Insight your stand left a lasting impression on me. I will be sure to give the Power Up Drink a swig and brush up on my Formula One. The thought process going into the stand, message and products displayed made a Powerful statement. The various links between Dell, McLaren and Insight were brilliant!

How technology benefits us all – regardless of your age, gender, job etc.– technology is a part of your everyday life! Whether you are a Baby Boomer (now known as the Prince Charles 3rd Era) Millennium or Gen X/Z, we all stay connected through Technology.

I am excited to work in a sector that is constantly evolving. This means that even though I may lack the current knowledge, Technology is forever changing; therefore, everyone is continually learning and searching for new answers.

And most of all… I was so thankful it didn’t rain. 😊