Softworld change or die… ??

I had the pleasure of attending this year’s Softworld event at Excel in London. I say pleasure… when really I have to say it was probably the poorest I have attended to date. Manoj Ranaweera, whom I had the good fortune to meet, summarised the event in his own blog here he quotes:

Softworld is UK’s premier event for accounting software vendors. I was a regular attendee during the days of ebdex (my first tech startup), but have not attended the event during the last few years. Those days, the event was held in Birmingham and was seen as the annual showcase event for accountancy software. It was at least 3 times bigger than the event I attended yesterday, and was buzzing with people. In contrast, yesterday’s event was not just small but it seems that the organisers forgot to invite buyers.

So what has gone wrong… could it be the format hasn’t changed for years and is tired, was it the location.. it was very nice but a hike to get to, the exhibitor presentation rooms claustrophobic and uncomfortable, even though they were restricted to 18 people sitting and a few more standing at the back, or is it that buyers behaviours have changed?

I would say that it did appear to attract prospects from the higher end of the market. I for one didn’t see much in it for the small vendor, despite what some are claiming. I suppose if it’s your first one you have nothing to compare against and it’s down to what you consider to be good at the end of the day.

Someone said that Softworld was for the dinosaurs of the industry… I think they were nearly right in that Softworld itself may be the dinosaur, not the vendors.