Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Manning the stand

It was the PocketGPS meet in Basingstoke this last weekend, and given that the hotel used was all of 3 miles from UK SatNav's home, it was thought that it was too good an opportunity to miss. Therefore, the guys manned a stand, selling the full range of SatNav systems and accessories.

The meet was very busy with approximately 500 customers and exhibitors squeezed into a small conference hall that ideally would have held only half that number. Exhibitors included Navman, Tomtom, Garmin and AVMap themselves, plus other luminaries such as The AA, ALK (CoPilot) and TeleAtlas. Although the stands were small, the exhibitors had a lot to offer with some new systems, new software and a lot of technical knowhow. Everyone appeared to be very knowledgeable about their topics, and their was a lot of lighthearted jousting about the relative merits of the products on show. The PocketGPS raffle was as popular as usual, with many new SatNav systems being given away. ALK also gave away large numbers of their new CoPilot software, leading to somewhat of a stampede to say the least!

Given that the week prior to the meet had been such a busy one for new product shipments, UK SatNav had a lot of new kit on the stand, including: Tomtom One, Tomtom Rider, Becker Traffic Assist 7914, Garmin Nuvi 350 and Garmin StreetPilot 2720. The Tomtom One seemed hugely poular, mostly due to the low price and the much publicised new chipset (SiRFStar III) which offers much faster GPS seeks, and better coverage. Given that the Nuvi has this chipset too, but it isn't mentioned on the packaging or specification sheets, I think Garmin are missing a trick there...

It was a great show, and many thanks to Mike Barrett and his team at PocketGPS for organising it. UK SatNav are sure to attend the next meet given the experience at this one.

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