Diary of a CE Trade Show

Below is a retrospective of what it’s like to work a CE tradeshow from the perspective of a Vinpower Digital employee in Taiwan.  Irene Liang from our sister company Waytech Media in Taiwan allowed me to recount her experience working and attending the Computex trade show.  Below is an translated summary of Irene’s journal entries:

Vinpower Digital will participate in the 2nd largest CE tradeshow in the world at Computex taking place in Taipei, Taiwan from June 5th ~ 9th, 2007.  This years show has a greater importance because we have so many foreign customers traveling to the show to visit our booth.  This year Vinpower Digital will also be joined by a booth from their sister company Waytech Media in Hall 4, booth # T3101.

This year we launched several new products certain to gain more interest and exposure for our product line.  The blue interface display, light weight SharkCopiers, extension  of our Blu-ray capable duplicators (ShrkBlu) up to 11 drives, 15 target controller, and so much more shows our dedication to meet the needs of this growing market.

Two of our engineers from Vinpower Digital’s corporate office in the USA, Tom and Eddie, flew out 1 week prior to the show to help the Taiwan team set up all of the products for the booths.  Even though we worked hard the whole time they were here, they also livened up the office with their stories and laughter.  We were focused on preparing for Computex, but Tom and Eddie made the experience more enjoyable.

(Mon) 6/4/07

In the afternoon, we borrowed a cargo van from a vendor to deliver our demo equipment to the convention center.  I drove with Eddie and this is the first time either of us had set up a booth before.  I was nervous because everything from our parking location, where we unload, and how we transport the items to our booth were all new to me.  Plus we had two booths to set up in one night, so it was critical everything went smoothly.  All I could do was give it my best shot and hope everything turned out well.  Thankfully, Robert (another member of the engineering team from the USA corp. office) arrived early and received all of the instructions we needed before we arrived.  This saved us a lot of time and because of everyone’s hard work we were able to set up both booths in a short time.  This was the first time in a week when I felt relieved and could relax.  It felt like turning in a midterm paper to your professor and waiting to receive the grades.  So far, everything is working out well and I’m looking forward to the start of the show.

(Tue) 6/5/07

This is the first day of the tradeshow.  Mandy and I left at 6am to pick up a customer from Germany (Frank and his father in-law) who are arriving in the morning.  When we arrived at the airport, our guests had just left the gate.  They were both very friendly which made us feel a lot more comfortable and released the tension we had in getting to the airport.  Our original plan was to pick up them up, drop them off at the hotel, then go to the convention center to finish setting up the booths.  That plan quickly flew out the window as the heavy rain caused huge traffic jams and we were stuck in traffic.  Adding to our troubles, Mandy and I had already exhausted our English vocabulary and were struggling to keep the conversation going.  We contacted Tom and Eddie to ask them to man the booth because we will be late and they too were cursed with the heavy traffic.  To make matters worse, Tom’s car broke down in the middle of the street in the pouring rain.  Our boss, Calvin, not aware of our delay and problems showed up at the Vinpower Digital booth and no one was there, plus all of the equipment was still in boxes under the tables.  This was not our lucky day and very difficult to manage but we made it to the show and everything was eventually set up.  Afterwards it got a lot smoother.

Tonight, we have dinner plans with a customer from Australia.  We communicate frequently over MSN, so I feel like I am meeting a chatroom friend from the internet.  The dinner went very well and we discussed a lot of business issues.  It was a good end to a stressful day.

(Wed) 6/6/07 ~ (Thur) 6/7/07

After a rough start on Tuesday, no one dared to be late for the rest of the show.  These two days went very smooth and our booth looked even better because of flower arrangements sent to us by some of our vendors.  We had a planned visit by a large potential customer from the USA.  The conversation went very well and I felt they were impressed with our presentation as we all put forth out best efforts to speak with them.  We look forward to landing this account.  We also met with many new potential customers who we can hopefully start new business with.  In the evening of the 6th we had a planned dinner with our German customer who we will take on a tour of Taiwan on the 7th.  These two days were very eventful and much easier now that we are accustomed to the trade show.

(Fri) 6/8/07

Today I’m working at the show, but two members of our staff are playing tour guide with our German customer and taking them to Dan-tsui.  Even though it’s raining, they would not let it ruin their day.  Our customers made a special request to try stinky tofu and an oyster omelet which we were happy to oblige.  Afterwards they walked non-stop so they could see everything.  Poor Tom was exhausted and coming upon a massage parlor suggested they get a massage so he could rest.  But they were not interested, foiling Tom’s “perfect” plan to take a break.

In the evening, Mandy was responsible to take our Japanese customers to dinner.  This was a difficult task because Mandy’s Japanese was limited and our customers English was just as limited, so they communicated through hand gestures and broken bits of English and Japanese.  Mandy said it was like they were dancing with their hands flying up and down.  It made me laugh as I pictured it.

(Sat) 6/9/07

This is the last day of the tradeshow.  It was a long and tiring week, but we were determined to end the show on a high note, especially since the show started off on a bad note.  Everything went very smooth as we planned.  Afterwards we had a staff dinner to discuss the overall tradeshow and how we can correct the mistakes that were made.  I think everyone learned a lot and hopefully will not make any mistakes in the future so that we do not have to learn these lessons again

As I look back at the week, we overcame many obstacles, entertained numerous customers, informed many more potential customers and learned a lot about trade shows.  The memories I’ll treasure most of all are the good times and friendships that were created during this show with our co-workers living in the USA.   I hope the show will be successful for our company and that we will receive many orders.  Only time will tell, but now that the show is over, I have more work to do to turn the connections into sales!


Irene (left) & Mandy at Computex ’07

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