This 3GSM Barcelona turned out to be huge for us. There was an immense amount of business development and sales activity that we engaged in. But above all - it was OUR show...because WE WON THE MOBILE MONDAY GLOBAL PEER AWARD for community favorite.
How did this all happen?
We have been relatively active in the Silicon Valley chapter of Mobile Monday - a very cool grass-roots forum consisting of individuals genuinely personally interested in mobile. Companies cannot 'buy' their way into the forum, or buy their way to present at the monthly meetings of the various chapters. We have been fortunate to have presented multiple times at various chapter events up and down the Pacific Coast.
For the Global Peer awards, they nominated 20+ companies from around the world. We were the Silicon Valley nominee, and one of only 3 companies nominated from the US. To compete for the final award, each nominee had to get up on stage and present a 3-minute elevator pitch. Believe me - 3 minutes is nothing, and to get it right needs significant preparation!
The MoMo guys are very cool, and congratulations to the folks who organized the very successful event in Barcelona. When you're talking about 20+ companies getting up on stage and presenting 3-minute pitches, you try to standardize the presentation format. however MoMo gave people freedom to do as they pleased in the 3-minutes - which worked for us, because we at Mobile Complete believe in going the distance - we always try to do live demos whenever we get up on stage, and that is exactly what we did!
The event was held at a very unusual location - a huge tent that apparently is a permanent fixture in Barcelona - it houses an expo facility for Movistar. The location was cool, but a little far away from the main 3GSM conference location, which meant fewer people showed up - but there was still a several hundred strong crowd at the event. Here's a photo of the location:
Anyway, we pretty much learned about our nomination and what we had to do two days before leaving for Barcelona - no big deal, we are used to last-minute fire-drills.
Now, normally we would have said, OK, great opportunity for us to showcase DeviceAnywhere - that would have been a sane thing to do. After all, many in the audience would already be familiar with our service, and the majority of the audience would belong to the developer community, so our chances of winning the award would be higher if we went this route - showcase something that enjoys name recognition and that people in the audience can relate to.
...but we decided to be more daring....
For the past several months we have been working on a stealth project, dubbed, Project Mobile Experience. It was time to 'let the cat out of the bag', we decided. So we were going to get up on stage, and for the first time publicly announce an entirely new product that no one had heard of before. Why not, the awards were for innovation, and when you see more of our Project Mobile Experience, you'll realize why we were not afraid of showing off....
To get a sneak preview of this project, visit: Project Mobile Experience ....and do remember to sign-up for our BETA program that will be launched in a couple of months!
Back at the MoMo awards...I prepared the pitch, with help from the marketing team, rehearsed it, and re-rehearsed it, and re-rehearsed it yet again until I got it down to 3-minutes and knew the pitch by memory. I have been well-coached in public speaking growing up, so presenting in front of the anticipated 700-strong audience was not an issue - I know the tricks.
I gave Dave the cues about when to shift from one screen to another in the live demo. Until then we had not seen the event location, but we hoped for the best. Dave would run the demo while I spoke to the crowd.
We showed up a little before kick-off time, went to the A/V setup, and tried out our laptop hookup to ensure screen resolutions matched up. The setup was very nice, everything worked out-of-the-box. We were 6th in line to present.
The event started, and company after company pitched their case. It was quite amazing how each company actually adhered to the 3-minute time, and how effortlessly the process moved forwards. I have presented at a DEMO event and they have real heavy-duty professionals running the show with all kinds of hoo-haa. Here, the entire show was run by volunteers with comparable results in terms of quality and effectiveness!
Our turn came, I got up on stage, Dave got behind the laptop to drive the demo. We took our three minutes, presented our case, and got off. I wasn't sure whether anyone got it - we were coming too out of left-field - that had been my big concern all along. In any case, we were fairly satisfied with our pitch. Although, like any presenter, I was scolding myself for not sending people to the sign-up URL, not saying enough about this, about that, etc. etc.
The rest of the show was nice (since we were not anxious any more :-). The presentations were good - and we saw a lot of cool stuff. The networking reception was enjoyable. Here's a look:
Then came the award ceremony. The first award was decided by the expert jury panel. They first announced the 3 finalists - guess what - Mobile Complete was in the final list! I was very surprised. But we did not win that one. A Paris-based company called RealEyes3D won the Jury award.
Then came the audience favorite award, which was basically people from all over the world voting for their favorite - Plazes, a Swiss company, won that one.
By that time I had all but given up, but still happy to have made the final cut. Yuri, the founder of Mobile Monday got behind the microphone to present the last award - the Community Favorite, which was to be decided by the leaders of the global MoMo chapters. They announced - '...and the winner is....Mobile Complete...' - It was a happy moment....we got a nice certificate and a little inflatable pillow - here is a photo of our happy faces :-)
...but that's not all...Caroline Lewko also presented two informal awards - a 'blonde' award and a 'redhead' award. We won the redhead award - indicating that while Mobile Complete is not the flashiest of companies out there, it is the silent company that will still make a huge amount of money, even though it is not the craze of the times...
My heartiest congratulations to all the award winners and all the finalists for this year's MoMo Global Peer Awards!!