Some alternative stories from the halls of electronica

12th December 2018
Joe Bush

Steve Rogerson looks at some of the news that may have missed the front page. My travels last month took me to the biggest shoe-leather-eating event in the calendar. Yes, I am talking about the enormous electronica exhibition in Munich, which was even bigger than in previous years. As per usual, I boosted my daily step count to silly levels with the combination of the event and me exploring the bars of Munich in the evening.

Between my formal engagements, I spent some time doing the halls in search of the unusual. My first stop was at a company called Binder, which had a ridiculously easy crazy-golf putting competition on its stand. Even I won a golf ball, though I gave up golf years ago. I am thus not sure what to do with it. On a similar theme, OK Electronica had a dart board with prizes for good throws being money off a first order. I wasn’t going to order anything so I didn’t have a go.

Leos TTE went for a fairground grabber machine to attract visitors. Now, I am usually quite good at these but still failed to win a cuddly toy. Ruined my whole show.

The Taiwan pavilion in Hall B4 got off to a bad start with strings of sticky tape stopping people entering for ‘security reasons’, or so said the sign. Curious, I asked if they were expecting a terrorist attack but was told it was because the stand was unstable. A long way to come for that. “We will fix it tonight,” a stand holder told me.

Some did fear a security alert when Hall C4 was evacuated, but this turned out to be because one of the floodlights on the Analog Devices stand had burst into flames. I talked with them after it had been extinguished and they were surprised about the lack of urgency in the evacuation. “People were just standing around with their phones photographing the blazing floodlight,” an exhibitor told me.

My star of the show award is split this year between motor racing ace and former Formula One driver Felipe Massa, who was on the ROHM stand, and an impressive Princess Leia from Star Wars lookalike who was wandering round the aisles. And, yes, I did take a selfie with her.

And finally, after attending numerous press conferences and one-to-one interviews for various publications during my three days at the show, I realised at the end that not a single spokesperson at any of these was female. Now, I know we are in a male-dominated industry, but I have never had a 100% male spokesperson experience at any major show before. I thought we were meant to be getting better.

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