It was a very full day at Innovision 2020, starting at 7:00 am with breakfast in the exhibit hall, all the way through dinner and the annual CRAZE event that wrapped up well after 9:30 pm. You would think it was an exhausting day, but with the energy infused into the jammed packed agenda, it was easy to prove that time really does fly when you’re having fun.
Kicking off the event Vy Hoang, chief customer officer of i3 International and an Innovision sponsor, was the official master of ceremonies for the day. He welcomed guests and drove home the real focus of this boutique event. Hoang noted that unlike your typical trade show, which are great and bring their own value, the differentiator with Innovision is the interactive education sessions, the intimate networking, and personalized engagement effort to drive innovation and actually create new ideas. More than demonstrating new technologies and solutions, the event is about listening to the pain points of the end user and creating partnerships to drive the development of new ideas that will lead to the creation of new solutions that will bring about change and drive results.
“What you get from Innovision, as a solution provider, is a venue to share and to develop new ideas. As a retailer and as the end user, we work to bring together multiple solution providers who want you to share with them your pain points. They are here to listen and hopefully it starts the conversation and starts down the path to a solution,” explained Hoang.
The opening keynote speaker, Alex Benay, partner for digital and government solutions at KPMG Canada and the former chief information officer of the government of Canada, was the perfect start to a day focused on innovation and new ideas. Benay shared a roadmap of where the global community will evolve in technology over the next 50 years. From supersonic travel, to artificial kidneys, to hover-taxis, cyborgs, and even teleportation (yes, Start Trek fans, teleportation), the advancements of the next 50 years will far eclipse the advancements of the past as the pace continues to accelerate exponentially. To remain relevant, let alone competitive, business and governments need to embrace new ideas and be open to even those ideas that might sound “a little crazy,” because it is that openness that will drive the technologies we use and the way we live tomorrow. “Let go of the things you think are certain today because they are changing,” he said.
The day was full of open discussion, idea-sharing, interactive sessions, and innovation as retailers and solutions engaged in both group and focused one-on-one interactions.
Wrapping up the day was the annual Innovision CRAZE event with a Wild West theme. The CRAZE offered fun (sometimes hysterical) team competition through a series of challenges ranging from the hat toss to bow-and-arrow competition to root-beer chugging and even an old-fashioned quick-draw shootout that ended the day, literally, with a bang. With many repeat attendees and a number of newcomers, strangers quickly became teammates and new friends driving those relationships that will make day two even that much more productive and engaging. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s recap.