TechDay New York 2018
You can register to attend the event here. It seems that to get onto the Main Expo Floor, the price is $10 if you register now, or $30 on the event day. The event used to be free, but to be fair, $10 is really really cheap for what you'll get out of the event. For sure I'd recommend paying the $10 to attend if you're available too.
I attended NY TechDay in 2016, but I was actually behind a booth for the company I worked for.
In 2017, I attended NY TechDay as a member of the regular attendee.
(It looks like a lot of stuff, and it is. The companies want to advertise, so make sure to show all of your goodies to your friends and family!)
Of course, it's also great for the companies in attendance, because they get to promote their brand to the press and investors.
And it seems there's more than just the Expo Hall this year. TechDayTalks seems to be a series of talks from leaders in the startup industry. (Actually, I think something similar existed last year, but I wasn't allowed to see it with my General Pass. I guess the Full Conference Pass may be worth it, if you have the money to spare?)
Attending TechDay New York 2018
Some NY transit for those who don't know what it's like. (I took the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station -> C train to 50th street -> 15 minute (one mile) walk to Pier 94. (It's a Pier, so it's not in the middle of the city. Trains don't get that close to it.)
(People probably thought I was a tourist taking pictures LOL.)
So I get there, and it's pretty empty. Companies are still setting their booths up, and the line to get in is nonexistant. (Wait 'til you see it later.)
When I asked to be Press this year, it was sort of informal (since it's not like this website is the New York Times...), so my badge says "Software Developer/Press Guy" LUL. Pretty perfect, the person who approved me as press is hilarious and creative.
Okay so here are two pictures for scale: from side to side, both of those wings were filled with booths for companies.
(As I said, companies were still setting up.)
We'll get to the companies at the booths later. Now we go to the VIP section for TechDay Talks.
So on the "right" wing there's a VIP lounge/section for the TechDay Talks.
No seriously, I think people were like "why is this guy taking pictures of empty chairs...?"
Okay, so TechDay Talks are a series of 20 minute speeches where a presenter (from a big company) talks about a certain topic to the VIPs at TechDay. These VIPs are members of the press, investors, other people from big companies, etc.
I watched the first three TechDay talks so let me share the key insights of the speakers with you. (Don't quote me word for word on these things, I'm basically telling you how I interpreted the talks as an audience member.)
He said that MasterCard was trying a system where, on the mirror inside of a fitting room, a customer could scan the clothing they're looking at and be able to see all available sizes and colors the clothing comes in.
He also shared that the average person drives 48 minutes a day, and MasterCard is looking at ways to make that time meaningfully. (Before this talk, I thought they were just a credit card company...)
The talk was actually pretty good. I liked it. He knew some interesting statistics.
2) Salesforce used AI to assist in giving employee feedback: there are no annual reviews in the company, and the reviews given are done in such a way that there's positive bias, since people like constructive feedback, but don't really like hearing negatives.
3) Salesforce created an AI talent agent that can find the strengths of people within the company and can find which positions are most suitable for them. (And some picks are things that humans would never guess, like data scientists being a good fit for human resources.)
Overall, I found it pretty cool to hear what Salesforce is working on and how their company uses technology for things other than client-facing-applications. Honestly, they're a pretty cool company if they work on AI projects like that.
But I wasn't the target audience (they literally asked at the beginning of the talk how many people were experts at blockchain, and it wasn't really appropriate to raise my hand): it was clear that the other VIPs there were didn't know THAT much about blockchain, so maybe the demonstration was helpful to them?
Anyway, after the third talk there was a networking break so that people could use the bathroom and chat with each other. And with that, I journeyed back to the exhibits section.
I left the VIP section and went back to the main area.
Line seems kinda long, right? I waited on that line last year...
I think at 10 AM the general public is let in, so by 11:45 AM when I took the pics, things were in full swing.
Alright so seriously, I tried to take as many pics as I could, but it was hard to do without being weird. I walked around and talked to ~45% of the booths, but it's hard to seriously ask people about their company, and then ask them to take pictures.
Pretty much every company was friendly and cool. We'll go over some companies soon, but let's talk about the best company.
The Best Company At New York TechDay 2018
(If you exhibited at NY TechDay, don't feel bad. Sorry. I like you too. Promise. With that said...)
The best company at NY TechDay was "selfee". And by "best" I mean "I thought they were pretty cool. It was fun." The idea is that they take your picture, and then print your face on a cookie.
Technology-wise, they take your picture using the app, then they plug the app into the laptop, which runs a program to send the pictures to the printers to be printed. The time to print the pictures is about 10-15 minutes. (Maybe quicker.)
Business-wise, their ideal market is is to be able to offer their printing service at parties and events. (Which sounds like an excellent strategy to me.)
As I said, I spoke to at least 45% of the companies there, and I walked by and read at least 85% of the company's booths and to read what the companies were about. I just want to shout out a few companies that I thought were particularly interesting.
Vids is an iOS app that allows for the editing of video clips, but allows for the sharing of video clips between contacts. That's not something trivial to code. Respect. (As a software developer, I do care about the "Tech" in "TechDay". I haven't tried it myself, but the app looks cool.
(If I didn't mention your company...sorry. These companies talked to me a lot to explain their products to me. As the "Software Developer/Press Guy", the technology I see companies using is like...40% of what I care about. (Another 40% goes to business idea/market need, and like 20% goes to execution.))
The Swag/Goodies From NY TechDay 2018
I'll be completely honest: this year I didn't get a lot of stuff. I probably skipped 20 booths that had swag, and then for like another 20 of the booths that I talked too, I wasn't offered goodies (and I didn't feel like asking for it).
Alas, for the companies that did give me stuff, have some free advertising:
From top left to bottom right: A...cube paper toy from raceya, a pair of socks from Tom Tom, a notebook from Spin, a notebook from Fixional, a notebook from aircall, a bottle of coconut water from Zico, a water bottle from OTC Markets, a screw driver/tape measure keychain from Unpakt, a Clif bar, a pin from Unpakt, a tin of mints from Pyramid Consulting Group, a toy soccer ball from Vids, headphones from Pyramid Consulting group, headphones from medidata, a mini rubik's cube from BlindData, a higherlighter from Rainbow Password, some pens, a cookie from selfee, a...I think they said it was a phone clip from Pyramid Consulting Group, some candy, and a USB converter/charger from Pyramid Consulting Group.
(I forgot to include a laptop camera cover from Tom Tom in the picture.)
I also have some flyers and stickers. I didn't get nearly as many tote bags or t shirts as I expected.
New York TechDay 2018 was pretty cool. The companies were interesting and the event was fun.
I'm gonna be honest though, the TechDay Talks were super awesome. To anyone thinking about it next year, I'm only able to speak for the first three talks, but the VIP admission might be worth the price, since the talks were kind of cool and useful. (It also seemed easy to network with people there.)
Of course, the whole event (with the companies exhibiting) was enjoyable.
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