Collision is the first tech conference I’ve ever been to, and when I first got there I wasn’t feeling all that great to begin. Between a mild hang over and being completely dehydrated, I was pretty overwhelmed by the enormity of the whole event. Right off the bat, when you walk in the door there are hundreds of start up booths visible with large crowds of people congregating around them. How could one person see them all in two days? It’s just not possible. After a short while of being there, I eventually fell into a groove of simply cruising around and letting my intuition and the flow of the crowd guide me. Essentially, I was surrendering myself to the energy of the conference.
Maybe it’s just the type of person that I am, but whenever I am in a large crown of people one of my first reactions is to just sort of shut down and put up a safety net to shield me from the bombardment. I had to fight this until I was able to click into a “rhythm” or “groove” like previously mentioned. In a way a large crowd is a real, living thing and unless you’re part of it, it can be easy to get rubbed the wrong way. After a while of weaving in and out of the sea of people we (Andrew Kunesh, Aaron Whitfield, and I) eventually starting making some connections with some interesting people and the start ups they represent. Some of the more interesting things to me were a few apps, an awesome battery iPhone case and a neat gadget for consolidating your keys into one device. I will be reviewing my favorites things in the coming weeks, so be on the look out for some exciting new stuff.
Right after we got to the conference, we sat down at a nice little couch in the media area, which was pretty nice but could have been a little larger. There were plenty of accommodations and hookups for power and internet, which I was glad to have because the Wi-Fi was almost unusable through most of the day. Speaking of that, it’s actually kind of hilarious because it’s a tech conference. At any point during the day you could always find at least a half dozen or so people pecking away productively at thier laptops in the media area. There were even a few people that seemed to be constantly recording an audio podcast or some sort of video podcast. I don’t even want to imagine how expensive thier mic set ups were to avoid recording the cacophony coming from the show.
What would a tech conference be without an Apple Watch comparison right? It’s a little hard to tell from the picture above, but the 42mm Apple Watch with a white band is on the left and the one on display with the green band is the 38mm watch. After seeing these in person I don’t know how someone without very tiny wrists could use one with any sense of decency. This was an game studio called Spooky House Studios that has been making iOS games for a while now, they were showcasing some of their games they have ported over to various smart watches. I have to admit that the Apple Watch was by far the smoothest.
After the conference was said and done, I’ve had some time to digest what I experienced so I can look back and really reflect on what I liked and what leaves me desiring something better. Almost everything about the conference was amazing, it was very cool to see all of the exciting new ideas that people had for their start-ups and existing businesses, even though it’s sort of sad that most of them probably won’t survive the year. One thing that I wasn’t expecting was the awesome food trucks that were all over the courtyard-like areas. The conference provided some pretty awesome amenities in the media section, but they couldn’t really compete with yummy asada tacos or a good burger.
One thing that I did notice is that there were too many vendors or booths and not nearly enough time to see them all. Perhaps they could have made the event a day longer, have less vendors, or maybe both? The point is that even if I wasn’t overwhelmed with the sheer size and worked hard to fit as much in as possible, I still wouldn’t have been able to see even half of the booths. Another small thing is that everyone was very packed in together. For example, there were many times when a few people crowding around two booths that were right next to each other made it hard to find room to participate in the demo or discussion. All in all, I actively avoided the more crowded aisles.
Thanks for reading and look forward to some great reviews of my favorite things I saw at the conference including an app/service that is looking to kill passwords forever, a backup battery privacy case for iPhones, and a service that consolidates the most popular cloud storage solutions into one powerful online suite that allows you to edit files from all of them.