Tag: tokyo big sight

Inbound Business 2017

Inbound Business EXPO Japan 2017 sought to answer one of Japanese business’ toughest questions, “How do we attract foreign customers?” With Japan having achieved record-setting tourist numbers last year and the 2020 Olympics on the horizon, this is an important thing to find an answer to.

ramen booth indoors

There seemed to be a general fixation on inbound business from Asian countries — and given the statistics, this makes sense. But most people we spoke to were more than interested to appeal more to people coming from EU, US, and Oceania. Walking around the exhibition floor, you could hear a lot of visitors speaking European languages. The potential to expand business was certainly there.

We were glad to see of Japan’s best feet was put forward: food. Any resident of Japan gets eager to take foreign visitors out to eat for good reason: it’s delicious. A large part of the exhibition floor was dedicated to food and restaurants (most of whom were giving out samples). This is in line with other trends that can be witnessed around Tokyo; for example, any tourist information centre comes stocked to the brim with restaurant pamphlets.

rental kimonos on display

A few Miss Universe Japan prefectural winners were present (Miss Shizuoka and Miss Fukushima pictured here). The pageant winner, Sari Nakazawa, has been very active in promoting Japan as a destination.

prefectural winners shizuoka and fukushima
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Wearable Expo Japan 2017 — Two Unique Product Demonstrations

We just got back from Wearable Expo at the Tokyo Big Sight, the world’s largest exhibition for wearable technology. This year, around 100,000 people are expected to attend. [Edit 2017-01-23: Actual attendance was over 110,000.] It was interesting to see more than just smartwatches. Some of the more unexpected products included helmet-integrated glasses and circuitry woven between layers of fabric.

While participating companies at many technology exhibitions like to regulate who they expose their products to, everything here was showcased out in the open. As wearables are highly visible by nature, it sufficed for many exhibitors to merely display their wares on a table or mannequin. But there were two booths that uniquely stood out in the way they drew in a crowd.

Hold an egg in the air, then just drop it

Eggs have little to do with technology and are seldom the focus of attention. But when someone is holding a box of them and announces that he is about to drop one, it isn’t something you miss.

That was a demonstration of a material by Orion. It attracted quite a crowd, with many people (including myself) scrambling to record the magic trick. I like this because it’s the perfect segway into a conversation. You can’t see from this angle, but the table to the left in the video is lined with products that use this material. If a passer by had any interest at all in shock-resistant foam, it would be difficult not to start talking with the exhibitor.

Demonstrate using a cosplay model

Attractive booth models are a staple of trade shows, but cosplay models are usually found only at manga / anime / game shows. So when Crescent Inc. put a cosplayer on the floor, it turned heads.

This is a great example of demonstration-style showcasing. The cosplayer is wearing sensors on her fingers that control the display behind her. The technology itself is image engineering, which is something I would have trouble conceptualising but immediately understood after seeing this. What I like is how well her act lends itself to what the company does. It isn’t often that a contracted model is so “on board” with a product or service.

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SEMICON Japan 2016

Today was the last day of SEMICON Japan 2016 and we are glad that we got a chance to attend. This was the final major exhibition for the year at the Tokyo Big Sight. Over 64,000 visitors attended, surpassing last year’s attendance.

With so many industries tangent to microelectronics, it was interesting to see the variety of companies represented here. You did not have to be a technology company to exhibit; you just had to tie your business into the overall focus on the event. One exhibitor was promoting floor tiling, which was manufactured using pertinent technologies. Another designed parking lots, which relied on certain computer parts.

The expo-within-an-expo, World of IoT, was aimed at demonstrating diversity in business. It showcased a wide application of technologies including robotics, automotive applications, and design engineering. There was even a startup pitch on the second day.

SEMICON Japan was a fascinating event to attend and a great way to end 2016.

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