On 10-11 May, the largest accounting conference in Europe, Accountex London, was held at the ExCeL Convention Centre in London. Uku was an exhibitor for the first time! Last year we visited the fair and studied how and what should be done to stand out.
Today, the Uku team is back home. Having gathered much knowledge, learned lessons, and had many great adventures, we want to share them with you because learning from the mistakes and achievements of others is the easiest way to learn.
A convention with so many participants requires an outstanding exhibitor box so that the people see you first. Preparations for ordering the booth's interior and printing materials began several months before Accountex.
What do you need for an eye-catching booth?
First of all, you need the interior of the booth, i.e. walls with pictures of the product, lighting, carpet, table and stands where to store the fliers. We decided to hang a giant banner beneath the ceiling to stand out. Our good friends from AdGorilla helped us with the box interior.
Of course, there was also a need for candy, much candy! In the second half of the day, people are already tired and are unconsciously looking for an energy boost. We had Estonia's best candy - Kalev candy for them, and it was popular!
If you want to keep your visitors in mind, sharing leaflets is an excellent way to remind yourself to the people when they leave your booth. The brochure must be simple but as informative as possible. In addition to leaflets, we shared Uku's reusable bags with those most interested. This way, they could carry brochures that others shared more comfortably. In the bag, we put a flyer, stickers and the candy mentioned before, which people loved.
When all the designs were completed, the texts reviewed, and the goods ordered and printed, they had to be delivered from Tallinn to London. We packed our goods on one pallet and sent it on its way several days before our flight. The goods arrived late but still successfully in Britain.
London, here we come!
On May 9, we arrived in London. We drove from the airport with our suitcases to the convention centre to start building the booth. But what was not in the ExCeL convention centre was our pallet - it was still in customs! We waited, set plans for the next few days, and dreamed of everything the fair ahead would bring us.
And then it arrived, at the last moment - our lovely pallet with all the booth's interior! We built the stall in 2 hours instead of the whole day. The only thing left on the booth floor was the banner hanging from the ceiling. The opportunity to do that ended at 6 p.m., about 15 minutes before our belongings even arrived. Negotiating with the workers and promising to give them some of the best chocolate treats in the world resulted in an agreement that the following day, at 8 a.m., they would help us put up the giant banner. We are immensely grateful to the workers and organizers who did everything in their power to make Uku the brightest exhibitor at the fair.
The first day of Accountex
As usual for the United Kingdom, the weather was muggy, but it made no difference for us. On May 10, we entered the fair centre excitedly, and the long-awaited event was about to begin. Our booth was beautiful! The large bowl of Kalev's candy on the table was a complete hit! It's safe to say Estonian chocolate is one of the best in the world.
Four of us were at the fair this year - the founder and technology manager Jaanus, CEO Triin, CFO Margot and sales manager Mari. At the same time, Juuli and Keit had their hands full with marketing in Tallinn, so the news about Uku at Accountex could get as far as possible.
Everyone was super busy at the convention! We ran to get lunch and rarely left the booth because we wanted everyone interested to be included. Accounting specialists are curious people who immediately start investigating what Uku's about when they enter the Uku booth.
We were lucky to have a place in our booth next to the cafeteria. There, the enthusiasts gave their feet a rest, had lunch and took a good look at the Uku fair booth that was within reach. The famous Estonian proverb says there are three things that are the most interesting to watch: running water, burning fire, and a working person. You saw that in the Uku booth - people who worked hard
Some had heard of Uku before, and some met Uku for the first time. Even our friends from 1Office and Leinonen found us at the big fair. It was so lovely to see a familiar face!
We brought bags and flyers for sharing. We decided to distribute the bags to those who showed the most interest in the software, and there were many of them! We took 150 bags with us, and they had run out by lunchtime on the second day. It was lovely to hear that others like the bags and Uku's rune as much as we do.
There was a funny incident with our nearly run-out flyers. A passerby took one of the last flyers with them, and one of us had to run after them so we could show the others. Another lesson learned - next year, take more of everything.
So what did professionals around the world say about Uku?
"Uku is so beautiful!" Our priority is to make the software easy to use for everybody - for those familiar with technology and those needing little assistance. However, if something needs clarification, Uku's real-time support is always there for them. Janika, our customer support specialist, helps find solutions for Uku members daily. Janika sends the customers' wishes for new functions to Allan, Uku's product owner, and Allan to Jaanus, the CTO. We value constructive feedback, learn from it and develop the product based on what Uku members say.
Many were surprised that large investors or corporations did not fund Uku. Our aim is not to impress some important people but to solve the concerns of accountants. Uku was born because the mothers of founders Rain and Jaanus are accountants, and they wanted to see innovation in the industry. Five years after Uku's birth, we're still delighted to hear when accountants feel that Uku is made for them.
Uku's automatic invoicing solution, integration with accounting software, convenient time tracking and report solution, the possibility of automated emails and more were also valued parts of the software by exhibit visitors.
People also asked about new features. At the moment, a client portal function is gaining in popularity. Although Uku also acts as a thorough client manager, there is no place where the client can operate. We ask for some patience because this solution is no longer far away. At the convention, we demonstrated several new possibilities coming to Uku in the form of a video.
We paid attention to what the world expects of us, and it was a pleasure to hear that many of their ideas are already coming soon. You can submit all your wishes to Uku's roadmap. Add them or vote for other ideas > here.
The two days at Accountex London 2023 were very successful. It is a pleasure to meet such friendly, thoughtful and intelligent people. Many thanks to our helpers who came to London to support their lovely family members - Jaanus' partner Triin, Andre, Sixten and Steven.
Margot, Jaanus and Triin also invited their children and partners to London and spent a delightful weekend in London after the busy convention.
See you at Accountex 2024!