A Report from TECHSPO Toronto 2017

I was at the TECHSPO 2017 Toronto yesterday at the Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre Hotel, having registered back in December 2016 this was an event highly recommended by an acquaintance to find out the local technology landscape.

I was anticipating a high-energy congregation of tech enthusiasts with several booths as is expected of large trade shows and expos, however, I was left disappointed at the thin crowd and fewer tech companies being represented at today’s event, while I guess my timing went awry because most of the exhibitors were at lunch break! Moreover, I’m glad I attended because there was a lot to discover about digital marketing and VR/AR from the companies (out of 13 that were represented) I was able to interact.

Delivra – I’d a wonderful chat with the team from Delivra that have designed an email software for small to medium-sized businesses aimed at marketing teams which do not have the necessary bandwidth or guidance in collecting leads for driving more sales. I thought this unique digital marketing tool was more aligned with the industry standard platform ‘MailChimp’ which was also confirmed by their sales rep, however, there were differentiators likely in the way the customers could segment the client profiles based on specific feelers for delivering more targeted insights through emails and SMSes. It looks like a promising product and I wish them good luck.

Act-On Software – Apart from the innovative features of the Act-On platform, I was able to explore some interesting insights during my discussions with the team on the topic of SEO. For instance, “SEO” as a framework has been generally associated with optimizing search capabilities on Google or Bing while most digital marketing platforms tend to overlook other search engines such as Yandex, Yahoo or Baidu, maybe owing to customer demands or a lack of interest. Nevertheless, the other search engines play a prominent role in their respective demographic locations. I was also keen in understanding how the design team builds the modules and the nature of the method/frameworks they follow. I’d imagine they’d be taking regular feedback from the sales & marketing representatives who are firmly in touch with their customers! I look forward to connecting with them in the near future.

Academy of VR – A glimpse of a live demo in VR featuring an RV interior compelled me to drop by the booth of Academy of VR. Training in the C# programming language, this Vancouver-based company helps professionals (and beginners) create virtual and augmented reality experiences through hands-on training. I’m told that it’s possible for absolute non-coders to get accustomed and hit the ground running within weeks thanks to the ‘Unity’ platform for developing VR applications, alongside hunting for templates and widgets on the Unity Store online to complete their VR projects. To say the least, this was an impressive demo by the team and I’m excited to explore this technology further in bringing a human-centered design vision to building VR products.

It was a fun trip at TECHSPO 2017 very educative and awe-inspiring especially to realize the VR experience which could be created with zero coding knowledge. I’m eagerly interested in analyzing VR in deeper depths, but also anticipating a larger representation by tech startups during the next edition of TECHSPO 2018.