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 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire. He is now two-thirds of the way through his Journalism Studies degree at the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, going to the theatre, and writing about himself in the third-person.