Work Experience: Day Three – 29 June 2011


My third day of work experience saw me commuting to London again (like Monday), though today I attended a tradeshow at the ExCeL Centre in the Docklands.

SHOWING THE TRADE_Today's tradeshow at the ExCeL centre in London's Docklands.


I actually arrived at Paddington an hour and a half early, so I took the opportunity to get a drink and hunt down some free public Wi-Fi. Despite there being several open wireless networks in the station itself, my laptop had difficulties connecting to all of them, so I eventually decided to walk around the corner to a nearby McDonalds, were I used The Cloud’s service for free.

At 9:45am, I went by the tube to Baker Street, met Alex Ball (a VM Senior Strategy Consultant), and then we travelled together to Canning Town. From Canning Town, it was just a short trip on the Docklands Light Railway to the ExCeL centre.

On arrival, we each bought a drink and pastry before making our way to the entrance of the exhibition hall. The tradeshow was called the Home Technology Event, organised by CEDIA, and featured everything from £500,000 3D plasma screens to luxury light switches.

TURN ME ON_Luxury light switches, popular on the continent, displayed at the event today.

Alex came looking for a specific thing and, although he couldn’t find anything that quite met what he was looking for, he exchanged a few business cards with various salespeople and found one company who, he hopes, may be able to custom-manufacture it.

Over a delicious burger and chips lunch, Alex and I discussed what we’d both seen in the show. He was also interested to hear about my blogging and interest in video: he himself has a keen passion for photography, and has a Canon 40D.

After finishing our food, we returned to the show but split up and went around individually. I began talking to a manufacturer of bathroom televisions, giving me food for thought for a further place Virgin Media boxes could be extended to. Spying a box of sweets, I also spoke to a seller of wall-plates for network sockets. Little did I know that the discussion would extend for the best part of half an hour, and all I got in return was a lollipop.

“That was a hard-earnt promotional gift; a twenty-minute conversation about CAT5 wall-plates all for a Drumstick lolly…”

— Andrew Burdett, Twitter Status, 29 June 2011

Among other promotional gifts I picked up were a selection of Celebrations, a six-pack of professional cable-ties, and a canvas bag to carry all the literature I picked up between stands.

It was a really interesting day and I really enjoyed seeing the sorts of things that Alex gets up to. Having never visited a real tradefair, but heard about them from the other side through my Dad’s occasional trips to shows in the States, it was a great experience – and who else can say they spent a day of their work experience watching expensive TVs?!

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.