Tech takeover

From the Apple store-esque Smart Ready stand through to the multiple software as a service (SASS) providers that exhibited, FIT Show 2019 reflected a movement towards smart home technology and smarter manufacturing processes and systems. FIT Show event director, Nickie West comments on the growth of technology at the show.

There is no denying the fact that FIT Show 2019 was a hotbed for forward thinking and tech savvy brands looking to bring their products and services to life via the show. It’s clear that, as an industry, we are embracing technology and its many advantages and, as a show, we are really excited about this.

The beauty of live events is that visitors are able to see advances in technology up close and in person. From new manufacturing and processing technology for the fabricator through to software and services designed to streamline processes for the installers, we had it all under one roof at the show.

From a SASS perspective, the likes of Business Pilot, Klaes, WindowLink, Windowmaker, Business Micros, Aztec Glass, Dufeu IT Solutions and Smart Builder all put on fantastic displays for visitors. Software can be a tough sell for businesses, which is why an exhibition really does tick all the boxes as an engaging marketing tool to bring these services to life among the end users.

But it was the emergence of smart tech for the homeowner that really captured people’s imaginations; it drove real excitement and buzz across the show.

For example, Brisant Secure used FIT Show as a platform to launch its Ultion Smart system to the market. This is another exciting hardware development that allows the homeowner to automatically lock, unlock and open a door.

We also had Maco, which gave visitors a taster of what they have been developing with its smart home security features and cutting edge hardware.

Smart Ready set the bar high in terms of bringing technology to life and creating a show-stopping stand that drew people in.

Giovanni Laporta, innovator behind Smart Ready, concept said:

“Expectations for the Smart Ready stand at FIT were exceptionally high following a stand-out teaser campaign and some bold claims in the lead up to the show. But Smart Ready, Sac Hardware, and Hug Technology, which collectively promoted Smart Ready certification at FIT, achieved a hugely successful show that exceeded all expectations by a long way.

“We knew Smart Ready was right for the industry but we are still genuinely amazed by the response the idea received at FIT. We opted for an Apple store-style design, and commissioned Creative8 to bring our vision to life. They managed to take our brief for clean, contemporary and tech to create a stand that grabbed attention and felt like its own show within a show – visitors kept saying that because of the size of the stand and the ceiling, all in the same bright white colour scheme, they felt totally immersed in our environment.

“It was an epic build for the team at Creative8 and the end result was truly outstanding.

“The quality and quantity of visitors we had on the stand justified all the brave decisions we made too with a constant stream of visitors from 10am on opening day, right up until 4pm on closing day. It was great to see so many forward-thinking people coming to us to find out more and getting excited about the concept. We also had some of the industry’s biggest names in hardware keep coming back to the stand to ask more questions and find out more.

“Visitors were genuinely excited about the concept that is Smart Ready.

“Essentially, the whole concept and content of our stand – Smart Ready – was something that the industry had never seen before. FIT also gave us the opportunity to discuss original and unique solutions new to the market about how to make Smart work for their businesses.

“Being Ready for smart technology is the key message now and for the foreseeable future. Smart Ready suits two minds: the people not ready to make any big leap to smart today but want to future proof the home with windows and doors that are ready for some kind of smart add on in the future. Smart technology is leading the way in door and window position and locking reporting.

“The only barrier smart technology faces among homeowners is trust. Can we trust smart tech with the security of our precious homes? Smart Ready certified products don’t ask consumers to make this leap in one go, and the current focus is on door and window position and locking reporting, rather than locking and unlocking. Smart Ready certified products provide a far more realistic way for more homeowners to become Smart at some point.”

I’m predicting that we’ll see the bar raised even higher in 2020 in terms of both the stands and the advances in technology that are showcased. I’m predicting a more prominent display of both smart home technology and the use of virtual reality (VR) technology as a mechanism to bring projects and products to life for homeowners.

And it’s not just our exhibitors that are embracing technology. As event organisers we are constantly looking at ways to enhance the show experience for our exhibitors and visitors. We’ve implemented new scanning systems to help capture data and have added the ability for people to register for the show via social media to speed up the process.

We’re also going to be making our seminars more interactive by introducing audience polls, and we have been exploring beacon and app technology as a further mechanism to engage with our audience and help them get the most out of the show when they’re on site.