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Talk Proved Priceless at UC Expo

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I have a confession to make: I didn’t approach my first visit to UC Expo with a sense of excitement. I didn’t dread the event, but I certainly wasn’t beside myself with giddy anticipation. There were the usual jangle of nerves that accompany any time you have to speak in front of a room of your peers, but I’d been down this road before. To say it was a well-walked path would be an understatement – it had been dug, ploughed and paved. It was a regular route.

My first impressions of the event did little to soften my outlook. Call me jaded, but industry conferences aren’t the laugh-a-minute riot so many people (nobody) expect, with many of them carrying the unsettling feeling that the majority of people don’t actually want to be there, despite on some occasions having paid handsomely for the privilege. If you have stuck with me so far, then you’ll be pleased to hear that this is where the rot stopped. Initial trepidation gave way to enthusiasm, as UC Expo proved to be a useful, vital event that surprised even a conference old-hand such as myself.

It wasn’t so much the size or attendance that surprised – it was the interaction. From a contact centre perspective, I am used to conversations about ShoreTel solutions and how they impact enterprises, and more specifically, which enterprises they impact. Here, less people seemed to be interested in hearing about a big name and what they were using. They were more concerned about the tech, and how it could help them. This, for want of a better word, seemed to be a far more sincere use of an industry conference. By being offered the chance to answer thoughtful, tech-based questions, I as well as the other ShoreTel spokespeople could provide, and derive, real value from our speaker-slots and time at the stand.

The irony of this is that at an event called UC Expo, there wasn’t a great deal of talk about UC. Instead, we spoke of the future, outlining plans and discussing the solutions that will make such plans attainable. Mobility, Contact Centre, Conferencing: these solutions proved to be the centre piece of what was a thoroughly enjoyable conference, much to my surprise.