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CeBIT 'Straya 2014

CeBIT 'Straya 2014

Sydney's Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre is currently a smoking crater, so CeBIT Australia 2014 has re-located to Olympic Park.

To me, the event seemed very downbeat. Not many people. Not much buzz. Conference rooms that were too small and hard to find. And tired-ish content: how many times do we need to hear about the social mobile internet of things cloud?

Maybe that's my nasty, cynical journalistic brain at work.

What do you think? Did you go? Do you wish you had? Are you regretting the visit?

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Re: CeBIT 'Straya 2014

I went last year because I got a free ticket. It was pretty meh.

I didn't go this year, and wouldn't have noticed the event apart from:

a) the increasingly imploring emails from CeBIT asking me if I wouldn't please, pretty please, please come this year. Please?

b) journos I follow on Twitter snarking about the event.

Looks like I made the right choice.

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It's been an event struggling for relevancy for ages - who is the audience? I know the government types love supporting it because it's all just tied up one nice big bow. But meh!

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NDA

I went last year to the CeBIt Startup day, which I found extremely informative and interesting. Made some great contacts as they provided a networking lunch along with the speakers in a general area. I'm founder of a startup and heavily involved in the IT industry, so received a complimentary ticket (which I believe they were pushing to fill seats the week prior). The rest of the conference was, well 90% salesforce.com and direct partners exhibitors and pretty uninteresting.

Fast-forward to this year's CeBIT, due to the positive experience last year I was supportive and promoting the upcoming CeBIT Startup campus day on social media. They consequently again offered me a complimentary ticket for this year's Startup day. Well they sent the wrong ticket, said they would send the correct one and then never did, despite my follow up.

Clearly CiBIT don't really give two hoots about supporting the local IT industry, startup businesses, the local startup ecosystem, or repeat visitors that provide positive social media. No wonder they struggle to maintain strong support and attendees. My wife (her company participating with the event) had similar issues with pre-ordered tickets not sent to her staff, so many from her company didn't go.

Call it sour milk, but I'm glad I didn't attend this year. I heard it was poor turnout and uneventful. Judging by the volume and comments from the Twitter hashtags (#CeBITAus and #StartupCeBIT), there are plenty of promoted posts by CeBIT staff and not much at all from attendees (especially compared to last year).

Another irritation, is that CeBIT marketing staff hijacked the #StartUpAus hashtag for their self-promotion, which is part of the Not-for-Profit http://startupaus.org/ who ACTUALLY DO ALOT for the local startup community and entrepreneurs. AFAIK CeBIT didn't involve them in the Startup campus day at all, height of rudeness really.

Also lame on the part of CeBIT is that the Chair of the Startup campus day this year was again Kim Heras, billed as co-founder of PushStart. Well PushStart WAS a Startup Accelerator, but shut its doors to investment almost a year ago: http://www.smh.com.au/it-pro/business-it/pushstart-decelerates-seed-funding-20130718-hv0xu.html I've nothing against Kim and he certainly knows plenty about the startup industry, but it is fairly misleading for CeBIT to have him as Chair and bill him as such, considering his specific lack of actual investment participation in the industry.

Thanks for listening : )

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