Elemental is going to be at a variety of upcoming trade shows over the next few months. This is a great opportunity to see the software in action as well as meet the team behind the technology. If you are attending any of the following shows please make sure to stop by and say hi. More details are also on our news site here. If you'd like to set up an appointment to visit the booth, please email our accounts team using the contact form.
- SIGGRAPH 2008, August 12th - 14th, Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA
- Booth #554
- NVISION 2008, August 25th - 27th, San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, CA
- Booth #230
- IBC 2008, September 11th - 16th, RAI Center in Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Booth #TBD
- Interbee 2008, November 19th - 21st, International Conference Hall, Chiba, Japan
- Booth #TBD
Many of you who read this blog loyally have complained recently that it's not being updated enough. Well, there's been a good reason for that: here at ETI HQ we've not only been focused on delivering the Badaboom™ Media Converter and RapiHD™ Accelerator for Adobe Premiere® Pro, we've been working on getting the capital base underneath Elemental solidified. Today I'm very happy to announce that we have closed our Series A financing round, bringing in two top-flight VCs and $7.1M to help us deliver on the promise of massively parallel computing. Check out the press release here. The two we selected (ok, maybe they selected us as well :) ) were General Catalyst Partners, based in Boston, MA; and Voyager Capital, based in Seattle, WA. The capital will fuel our growth, but more importantly we are thrilled to have Neil Sequeira from GC and Erik Benson from Voyager joining our board of directors. Neil has deep domain expertise in the Internet media space, and Erik is one of the smartest, best connected VCs in the Pacific Northwest. I have no doubt they will help Elemental achieve great things. Speaking of which, they have already added value by helping us flesh out our board of directors. Along with Neil and Erik, Frank Gill has joined the board. A former Executive Vice President at Intel Corporation, Frank provides a shot in the arm to our marketing, sales, and business development acumen. Bob Greenberg from the Oregon Angel Fund will remain on the board, providing deep technical insight. And Bruce Chizen, most recently CEO of Adobe Systems, will join the board in an observer capacity. Under Bruce's leadership, Adobe build tremendously innovative technologies including Flash and Acrobat; we are looking forward to following in the footsteps with RapiHD. Finally, Roy Coppinger will transition off the board into an advisory role. Roy has been with us at Elemental since day 1 -- actually, since day negative 30 or so -- and we wouldn't be where we are today without his patient counsel. Thanks for all your hard work, Roy! We are excited to begin the next chapter in Elemental's story. And I promise that the blog will be updated more frequently from now on.
The Elemental team showed off RapiHD at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in April in Las Vegas. Our marketing superstar Monica was responsible for organizing everything, and made sure that we had all our ducks in a row. Assuming you've done diligent preparation, these shows are a great opportunity to meet with a variety of prospective customers and business partners. We learned a few things along the way, and thought we would share some of them here to give any startups trying to pull off a smooth show a head start. T-x months: Book the space. Key learning here – check the site often. There is a lot of flux in the space game so the more often you check the better your chances are to get a good spot that might be visible from the main aisle or near a larger company that has a product that has synergy with your own. T – 4 months: Booth design. We decided to rent our booth since we were pretty sure we might want a larger, different booth in coming years. When you are making progress on start-up speed it is hard to believe anything will last for longer than a few months. Finding a rental booth that would stand out is tough but we believe we got one that did just that. A big part of doing that was making sure we had eye-catching graphics and deciding to have a screen with our demo running; but more on that later.
T – 3 months: Demos, Demos, Demos. Since we had accomplished something that had long been talked about but never achieved, demonstrations were critical to our booth. We had a small amount of space and lots of different things we could show. We decided to make one of our demos self running in a loop and put it on a screen that we put on a stand at about 7 feet off the ground. That enabled us to have two more stations in the booth to allow for interactive demos. The issues around speed of video processing seemed to resonate with all the attendees. The demos of RapiHD running 7X faster than a CPU-only solution were required to convince most people that it can be done with off-the-shelf GPUs. T – 3 months: Graphics. We knew that a large, eye-catching graphic would be required to draw people's eye on the crazy NAB show floor. So shopping for a high quality graphic that would look great at a large scale and designing the booth to incorporate detailed enough content to explain ETI’s RapiHD™ technology took some thought and careful planning. T – 2 months: Trinkets. Having high quality schwag is a core ETI value so getting these picked out and ordered and shipped to be ready in Vegas is critical. We went with green stress balls that kinda matched the ETI ball brandmark. T – 2 months: Tagline. This is harder than you thing since it needs to be in a large enough font so people can see but having something meaningful and descriptive to say. We came up with "Hitting the sweet spot for video processing." T – 1 month: Decisions, decisions, decisions. Padding thickness, carpet color, trash service, electrical, internet connections, stools, AV rentals and much much more. There are tons of things that you can buy at trade shows. Some you will decide are not worth but the tip here is that whatever you decided to do, get your paperwork in before the deadline where prices go up because there is a steep penalty for being late. T – 2-4 weeks: Booking meetings. We sent out our invitation about a month before the show, but discovered that the critical meeting booking time is about 2 weeks before the show. There is a key window you must hit when people are ready to think about their schedule but before their dance card is filled. T – 2 weeks: Uniforms. We bought polo shirts and had our logos stitched so that people would know who were are. T – 1 week: Packing list. Make a packing list of everything you need to set up your booth and run your demos. Don’t forget to take Windex, tape, scissors, power strips and twist ties. Give yourself a full day for setup, as there will be a variety of emergencies. And then ... wallah! ... it's 8 AM on Day 1, and customers are streaming towards your booth!
Enjoy! Although there is a lot of work and months of preparation, a trade show is a great experience and you can get a lot accomplished in a very short amount of time.