Teamlab at Cebit 2012: Better to see once than hear a hundred times

    Whoever says anything, and the desirability of participating in offline events is a moot point. And in terms of organization, and in terms of measuring results. A year and a half after the launch of the Teamlab project , we decided to test it on our own by participating in the largest annual IT exhibition - CeBIT . We will talk about how everything went for our team, what it cost us and what fruits it brought in this post.

    All details, as usual, under the cut.

    Our goals

    • The priority goal of participating in CeBIT, of course, was the active promotion of Teamlab as an opensource system for business in the markets of Europe and, in particular, in Germany.
    • An opportunity not only to receive feedback during live communication with potential users and partners, but also to measure strength with competitors.
    • Establishing new business contacts
    • And finally, the announcement of a beta version of the first HTML5 document editor *.

    * Some of you may already be aware that just recently Teamlab launched a beta version of the first HTML5 document editor, which will soon be integrated into the platform. Without unnecessary modesty, we decided for the first time to announce our development not somewhere else, but specifically at CeBIT 2012.

    Educational program

    The exhibition is held annually for 5 days in the city of Hanover, Germany. This time CeBIT went from March 6 to 10 and gathered under the roofs of 26 exhibition halls of more than 4.2 thousand companies from 70 countries of the world.

    The scale of the event was so huge that it was quite difficult to fit even one building into the camera lens. In each hall decisions of a certain subject were combined:

    • ICT Solutions for the Digital Lifestyle,
    • Professional Solutions for Business Operations,
    • Research and New Technologies for Innovative ICT,
    • ICT Solutions for the Public Sector

    Halle 2 (business solutions) and Open Source Park in particular are presented to your eyes . This is where TeamLab was introduced as a platform for collaboration on projects and an open source CRM system.

    But let's go down to our booth!

    Teamlab booth

    The organizers of the exhibition kindly provided us with the opportunity to creatively approach the design of the stand, and we decided that the style of the Teamlab main page is the best option, both in terms of design and information content .

    By tradition, we could not do without standard BTL tools. It was prepared 500 press packages and 8000 flyers with a specially created promotional code, entering which the user received 2GB of working space on the portal as a gift.

    Note that with an abundance of printed materials at all stands, without exception, the interest of visitors to them is noticeably reduced. You won’t surprise anyone with a simple flyer with a QR code today, and the organizers had to show their imagination to the maximum to attract attention. A half-wall painting, entirely consisting of QR codes with encrypted responses, is just one such example. Having deciphered the correct answer, we could win the iPad 2.

    So that Teamlab could not only watch, but also touch, we thoroughly approached the selection of equipment.

    On one side of the stand, we placed a plasma on which the Teamlab commercial was playing.

    On the other hand, there was a 32-inch touchscreen on which product presentations took place. Visitors could not only evaluate the system “from the inside”, walking along the demo portal specially created for the exhibition, but also create their own without leaving the monitor!

    Note : despite the widespread use of screens with commercials, even very creative ones, people are much more willing to pay attention to those devices that you can work with yourself.


    The large-scale exhibition gave the organizers a reason to conduct guided tours along a pre-planned route. The number of free participants was limited and selection was conducted on a competitive basis. Since we managed to enter the list of “stations” of Guided Tours, which, among others, included Microsoft, SAP, and Siemens Enterprise Solutions, we received guests daily.

    The most pleasant surprise for us was the endless stream of visitors and their mood. According to official data, the CeBit traffic amounted to about 340 thousand people and sometimes it happened that there were simply not enough people and monitors at the stand, despite the fact that there were 4 English-speaking and 1 German-speaking employee and the same number of laptops in our arsenal.

    Among the guests of the booth, we were very glad to see not only people looking for a suitable platform for doing business, but also our active users. On the fourth day of the exhibition, we were also lucky to talk with one of the developers of the ODT format - Tobias Hintze, a conversation with whom was built around the capabilities of the Teamlab editor, as well as the prospects for the development of technology.

    On a note: despite the “internationality” of the exhibition and the presence of guests from all over the world (including from Russia and the CIS, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, the USA, Australia and many other countries), the venue still plays a decisive role in the linguistic aspect. About 50% of visitors spoke exclusively German, and it is easy to calculate what losses you could incur in potential partners and users without having a professional Deutsch Sprecher.

    Press conference

    One of the key points of our participation was the press conference, which was held on March 7. As already mentioned, it was dedicated to the release of the new online document editor written in HTML5 - TeamLab Document Editor . The innovation of the technology in question lies in the use of Canvas, an important component of HTML5, which makes it possible to achieve 100% document identity regardless of the browser, device, OC, and format in which the document is converted.

    * All the details about the technology that we used when creating the editor, about the difficulties that we encountered, "blurring the line between desktop and online," and also about how we plan to apply our development, read in our next post.

    On a note: despite the fact that conferences were held during all 5 days of the exhibition, journalists are especially active only in the first 2-3 days.

    In addition, it is worth paying close attention to the "neighborhood". So, let's say, we were “lucky” to hold a presentation at the same time as Microsoft, IBM and Huawei, who treated journalists and bloggers with champagne, as well as Chinese dishes.

    From observations of other participants

    During the exhibition, we once again became convinced that the good old methods of attracting visitors, based on natural instincts, always and without fail.

    Below we give a couple of examples of what the participants of CeBit 2012 still attracted the attention of guests.

    For example, robots from Giles Walker, assembled from scrap metal with a spotlight instead of a head, dancing at the pole to the beat of the music produced by the robot DJ.

    However, practice shows that still living people are able to collect much more flash units than dancing robots. A good example was the German model Michael Schafer, who posed near the booth.

    Our findings

    Summarizing, we can safely say that all our goals and objectives were successfully achieved:

    1) First of all, we managed to declare ourselves as the creators of the first full-fledged online document editor written in HTML5 and attract media attention
    • The attendance of during the exhibition has grown 5 times, before the end of CeBIT the news received coverage in Russian, Ukrainian, as well as Western media.

    2) We were also able to successfully join the ranks of European suppliers of systems for collaborating on projects and take a worthy place among them.

    • According to the most conservative estimates, over 5,400 people visited our booth in 5 days. It is noteworthy that most of the visitors came for a specific purpose - to find a platform for collaboration on projects, a CRM system for installation on their own servers, as well as a system for online document editing. Thus, the percentage of visitors aimlessly reaching the booth tended to zero.
    • Attendance from Germany within 2 weeks from the start of the exhibition grew by 30%
    • For the purpose of further cooperation, about 123 contacts were collected.

    Well, and most importantly: participating in such a large-scale event is a truly invaluable experience not only in organizing teamwork, but also in live communication with users.

    In secret, this was our very, very first “exit to the people” and from now on, of course, we will try to do it more often.

    RIW-2012 is just around the corner;)

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