Starwest was the third and the last stage of our American Expo tour. Last, but not least, Starwest is known for being one of the largest conference and expo in the Software testing industry.
Like past year, the
2018 edition was organized in Anaheim, California, at the Disney convention center. Techwell is behind the organization of this main event.
Quite a long trip for us to fly from south of France to the west coast.
But on paper it was supposed to be a good call since about 1000 attendees were registered for the show, as well as 54 exhibitors.
And frankly speaking, the opportunity to spend some time in California is always a good incentive!
Our New Booth
Despite our limited marketing investments we came with a new booth. We designed something new and sober. A refined design with our logo and a simple punchline about OctoPerf’s core business:
a SaaS and On-Premise load testing tool.
Most of people know OctoPerf as a SaaS tool but ignore we have a real On-Premise product, a kind of Performance center like solution on top of JMeter. This was the message we wanted to pass.
In addition of this large banner, we installed a smaller one with keywords related to the way we leverage JMeter. This way we were able to drag interest on “Performance testing” as a global practice and JMeter as a very well known open source standard.
A good choice I guess as we had several competitors at the expo (Webload, Neotys, CA, Tricentis, Smartbear Load complete) and no one were obviously communicating about JMeter.
A good way to differentiate ourselves.
No test no gain
California life style has inspired us to create a specific gift for the show. If you ever visited the Los Angeles area, there are famous spots called “Venice” and “Santa Monica”. In here you’ll find famous places along the ocean called Muscle beach (old and new) and the Mecca of Gym, the Gold Gym.
It may sounds like a cliché but the body culture takes an important space in the Californian culture. We wanted to exploit that to at least get a smile from people passing by our booth, and ideally drag people’s attention.
To do that we re-adapt a famous motto and logo No train no gain and fit it to our specific software industry with a
No test no gain. We printed about 100 T-shirts to give away at the event. But 100 was just enough to stand 2 hours, top.
A great success for this idea, people definitely loved it
:), it created traction to our booth.
The Expo lasted 2 days and the conferences gave the pace to the attendees.
The first day was particularly intense with a large crowd dragged by the Passport game organized by TechWell.
The challenge is pretty simple, get your StarWest passport stamped by all the vendors at the expo and you can participate in the random draw.
About 50 prices had been gathered from all the exhibitors. A nice chance to not leave the expo empty-handed.
We made a lot of contacts during this first day and got very interesting discussions with JMeter users and LoadRunner’s customers.
Expo is always a good experience to work your pitch and see how people react to OctoPerf positioning as you have only few minutes to create interest. The performance testing tool market is moving a lot these days following the different mergers and acquisitions and the changes it involves.
It creates opportunities for challengers.
There is a motion of companies leaving legacy tools for Open-Source like JMeter.
So we feel that providing a middle-ground in between these two vision is well received by testers.
The second day was the opposite of the first one.
Less visitors on the booth but more time to discuss with people you met the day before, a good occasion to orchestrate demos. But it would be great if StarWest organizers think about a way to balance these two days in terms of visitors flow on the expo.
Indeed the first day was pretty intense and it regularly happened that we havent had enough time to discuss with all the visitors at your booth. There ware just too many of them, while the second day was really quiet.
What we saw
There’s definitely a lot of talk around AI and automatic testing in general.
Although while talking to many companies they willingly admit they use a good old algorithm and not a real AI (no neural network involved). The trend around CI/CD automation continues to go on and that’s definitely something we understand since we also do it internally for OctoPerf.
Although we didn’t have much time to attend all conferences, it was great listening to a few of the speakers, and meeting some others.
We definitely enjoyed the expo and its outcomes.
StarWest is clearly one of the top event of our industry in the US in terms of crowd.
We are now considering to participate to StarEast next year so we’ll be able to compare and meet new people from the East coast.
Meanwhile, our next step is in Europe for another large Expo: the EuroStar. See you soon for another feedback.