Recap of Web 2.0 Expo experience

Apologies for not posting this entry sooner.. it’s been a busy week with our private beta launch :).  About 2 weeks ago, we attended the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco.  We exhibited at a booth there and were part of the Launch Pad event.  We also attended the AltSearchEngines Day II, which was a mini-conference put on by Charles Knight.  Here’s a quick recap of each event.

AltSearchEngines Day II

Image courtesy of Elliott Ng, UpTake Travel Search

Image courtesy of Elliott Ng, UpTake Travel Search

This was a quick day conference on Monday.  There were about 50 or so people in attendance.  Most of the attendees were from different altenative search engines.  A variety of presenters and panelists demoed different technologies and discussed current trends in the search market.  There were also some folks from Yahoo! to talk about BOSS, which made me a bit upset at myself for not deciding to spring for sponsorship of the event.  Sponsorship would have given us a speaking slot, and we could have completely deflated the Yahoo! presentation.  Ah well, lessons learned…

On a side note, the mall in downtown San Francisco has a really awesome food court.

Web 2.0 Expo

Image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson

Image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson

We exhibited at a small booth on the expo floor.  Despite being somewhat near the back of the hall, we got an incredible amount of traffic and were busy the entire time.. literally.  The minute the doors opened, we had someone come up to us wanting to learn more, and we had people asking us questions after the expo closed every day.  We got about 150 contacts from the booth itself.  The contacts included a wide variety of people and companies, including search engines, market research firms, price comparison sites, students, venture capitalists, and so on.  We had a live demo running on a widescreen TV that people could check out and some one-sheets describing the technology.  We actually got a little blog coverage from our booth as well.

Launch Pad

Photo courtesy of James Duncan Davidson

Image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson

On Thursday, we got to give our Launch Pad pitch.  The event took place in a massive room; there were about 200-300 people in attendance.  It was pretty exciting – we presented on a big stage, with giant screens on either side of us.  From this event, we got a lot of press coverage, some of which I’ve listed here (with some commentary):

  • CNET:  It looks like Rafe liked us the most, calling us “a genuinely new idea”!
  • TechCrunch:  We got a lot of inquiries following the TC post.  We actually didn’t know it had gotten on TechCrunch until we started seeing a stream of new inquiries coming in every minute or so, which lasted for pretty much the whole day.
  • Wall Street Journal:  A quick mention at the end.. I’m guessing the author didn’t quite understand who uses 80legs.. no biggie, our customers definitely understand :)
  • ReadWriteWeb:  Another quick mention, but this time at the beginning.. it pays to come up first on alphanumeric sorting!
  • InformationWeek:  Pretty happy Michael liked the image search demonstration – the cool thing is that image search is just the tip of the iceberg with what’s possible when using 80legs.

I have to say, the conference was a great experience for us.  As a result, we now have several hundred people interested in joining the private beta, with new inquiries still coming in each day.  We plan on attending the next Web 2.0 Expo, which will be in New York City in October.  I can only hope that one turns out to be as great as this one was!

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