After a long afternoon trudging around an art exhibition, you may have suffered from what is known in medical circles as ?gallery feet?. The symptoms are severe; aching arches, jellied limbs and a glassy stare akin to a trout on a fishmonger?s slab. IT folk are not immune to such attacks, but do not need an art gallery as an excuse to suffer from ?leg lock? ? an IT expo will do very nicely. This month, the UK?s most successful IT showcase, Networks 97, opens in Birmingham and it?s intent on crippling the hardiest of heels.
What draws thousands of IT professionals to the NEC Birmingham on an annual basis? Waves of delegates ebb and flow from stand to stand to be presented to, sold to, shmoozed and boozed. The three-day marathon has become an endurance test for those in search of cutting-edge technologies and advice. The Mecca for managers will be open from 24-26 June and Business Computer World will be there to cover it for you.
One of the saddest sights I have witnessed at recent shows is the forlorn expression of network managers in search of products that offer them an easy life. They would have more chance finding a cafe that serves up gelding fricassee with mule marinade. If the show has proved successful at anything it has been as a showcase for possibilities and opportunities. Go looking for a specific solution and kiss your shoe leather goodbye. Look for an update on the latest products and applications and expect to have your appetite sated.
If, during your more exhausted moments, you need to relax and sip upon a flagon of rum punch, cast your eyes towards one of the many TV monitors around the hall and take a look at NTV. This specially commissioned channel is designed to feed you with the best in news, views, debates, rants and raves. Want to know what?s happening on a daily basis? Tune in. The channel provides lighter moments of viewing when you can luxuriate in the spectacle of print journalists and manufacturers thrust in front of a camera for the first time. Last year, most of the broadcast-shy anchormen, myself included, looked as though we were perched on something rather damp and bulbous ? such was the expression of discomfort most of us wore throughout the broadcasts. If you enjoy watching people sweat and dribble with fear, you?ll find NTV fine sport.
Last year?s expo was dominated by Euro 96. The England vs Germany game took place on the second day of the show, so the third day was a muted affair to say the least. A pall of gloom settled over the NEC and network managers wore the expression of the vanquished.
But this year, there?ll be little to distract you from the business of networking. Take time out of the office and see what you?re missing.
One piece of advice before you dash out to get your day-return; buy yourself a foot-spa and strap on a pair of orthopaedic boots. They?re made for walking ? and that?s just what you?re going to be doing.
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