Want to know the top ten Pixalytics blogs of the year?

Artist's rendition of a satellite - paulfleet/123RF Stock Photo

Artist’s rendition of a satellite – paulfleet/123RF Stock Photo

Have you read all of our 2015 blogs? Did you miss a few weeks for a holiday? Whatever your answers, it turns out you may not have seen our most widely read blog last year.

As this is the final blog of the year we like to take a look back over the past fifty-two weeks and see which blog’s captured people’s attention, and conversely which did not!

So what have we discovered? Well, five of the top six most read blogs of 2015 were not actually written in 2015, but in 2014! This is a really positive thing for us, as it means our writing has a currency beyond the week/month/year in which it was written. The most widely read blogs in 2015, written in 2014, were in order:

  • How many Earth observation satellites are in space?
  • What do colours mean in satellite imagery?
  • How many satellites are orbiting the Earth?
  • Why understanding spatial resolution is important?
  • Remote sensing big data: possibilities and dangers

The remainder of the top ten were written in 2015, and in order were:

  • How many satellites are orbiting the Earth in 2015?
  • Mastering Landsat images in 5 simple steps!
  • Why counting animals from spaces isn’t as hard as you think?
  • Five Landsat quirks you should know
  • How many Earth observation satellites in orbit in 2015?

The eagled eyed amongst you will have noticed an interesting overlap between the two lists, namely the obvious interest in the number of satellites, and Earth observation satellites, orbiting the planet. I have a strong feeling a 2016 update will occur sometime next year!

We know counting the number of views of the blogs doesn’t give a true picture, as blogs issued earlier in the year are likely to have been read more than later ones. Therefore I’d like to give an honourable mention to three blogs written in November and December that still made it into the top 20, despite their limited time. These were:

  • Pixalytics is growing!
  • Practical Handbook of Remote Sensing
  • Sentinel-2 data released into the wild

This is our second year of weekly blog writing, and it has got a bit easier. We try wherever possible to have the blog written by Tuesday night, so it is ready to go out the next day. This has eliminated a lot of the pressure we had last year; arriving at the office on a Wednesday morning knowing we had a blog to issue in two hours and nothing written!

One thing we do ask ourselves each year, is whether all of this effort is worth it? I know if you read all the social media experts they will tell you it is vital to write a blog, but we think about whether our blog adds value to our business?

The answers this year came from:

  • Geo-Business 2015 and the 2015 UK Space Conference – We exhibited at both of these conferences and had a significant number of people come up to our stand and tell us that they read, and enjoyed our blog, which was great to hear.
  • Catalin, our new Erasmus student – If you read last week’s blog you’ll know that Catalin found Pixalytics by seeing a blog written by our summer Erasmus student, Selin.
  • Expert Authority – We know potential clients read our blog before developing a relationship with us, and it gives them a level of confidence in terms of Pixalytics being a company who knows its field and are up to date with what is happening.

We think the blog does add value to our business, and we intend to carry on next year.

We’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and a very successful 2016!

Thanks for reading.

4 Things We’re Doing Differently for our 2nd Exhibition

Pixalytics-show preview imageNext week the UK Space Conference 2015 takes place in Liverpool, and Pixalytics is exhibiting! Regular blog readers will know we recently undertook our first foray into exhibiting at Geo-Business 2015, and we learnt a huge amount. Second time around we’re doing things slightly differently:

Different Type of Exhibition – The UK Space Conference has a full programme of speakers, and is complemented by the exhibition; whereas Geo-Business was focussed around the exhibition and was complemented by a conference programme. This difference means the UK Space Conference exhibition will be visited mostly during coffee breaks and lunch. There will of course be people around not attending particular sessions, but on the whole it will be quieter during the conference programme. The question is how many people will take time out from eating and drinking to visit the exhibition?

Different Exhibiting Space – At our first exhibition we hired a space, and then had to fill it. This time we’re part of the Small Business Hub within the exhibition, and alongside a number of other small companies we’ll have a cocktail table, a pair of stools and space for one pull up banner. The lack of space is compensated by the fact it’s a much more cost effective way to exhibit. Obviously, there will be less to attract people’s attention to us, so how much of a footfall will we get in the hub?

Different Type of Attendee – All delegates have to pay to attend the UK Space Conference. In theory, the attendees will definitely want to be at the conference and will have clear links to the space industry; whereas with free entry exhibitions there is sometimes more of the ‘it could be interesting and lets have a look’ approach – we’re not knocking this, as we’ve used it a number of times ourselves. However, when money has to be paid out it lends a certain focus to attending. It will be interesting to see if this changes the quantity, or quality, of potential business leads visiting our stand.

Taking Less Promotional Material – One thing we learnt from our first experience was that we took too much promotional material, and we ended up bringing the majority back. The one advantage of over buying is that we already have promotional materials for this conference. We’ve had to design, and buy, a pull up banner, which is something new, otherwise we’ll only be taking the items we believe we’ll use.

There are a lot of different flavours of exhibitions. If you go to the industry focussed conferences you’re likely to be surrounded by competitors, if you go to customer focussed ones will they be interested in your products and if you go to niche exhibitions it may only be relevant to one part of your business. As a small company new to exhibiting, how do you know which one is right for you?

We’re finding this out by using the scientific process of experimentation; we’re trying two different conferences this year and will compare what we think they have achieved for us. Next year we may do something different again, until we find out what works best.

If you’re up at the UK Space Conference next week, pop into the Small Business Hub in the centre of the exhibition hall and say hello!

We‘re on Stand K31 at Geo Business 2015!

We’ve made it! We’re officially first time exhibitors! After months of discussions, decisions and preparations, at this precise moment you’ll find us on stand K31 at the Geo Business Show 2015 in the Business Design Centre in London.

In a previous week, we discussed our approach to the exhibition and wanting to have something different that stands out without breaking the bank. The blog picture reveals our stand design; we’ve large scale canvas prints of a variety of satellite images coupled with retro items such as a globe and map bunting. We were a little worried about our stand construction, but it all seemed to go went well. Let us know what you think?

South West UK, Pseudo-true colour image. Landsat 8 data courtesy USGS/NASA

South West UK, Pseudo-true colour image. Landsat 8 data courtesy USGS/NASA

In terms of promotional items, we have our brochures, postcards of all the canvas prints, a number of A5 sheets on our key products/services and our pens. In addition, we’re giving away a small canvas Landsat image of South Devon, as shown on the right. Come on drop your business card or complete an entry form off at our stand, and we’ll select the winner tomorrow before the exhibition closes.

Geo Business 2015 runs both today and tomorrow, and so do come along and have a look at our stand. Give us some feedback on our design, enter the competition or just pick up a few postcards or a pen! If you feel like it, talk to us! We’d be glad to discuss remote sensing, Earth observation and all things Pixalytics with you; maybe find out if there is anything we might be able to help you, or your organisation, with. Who knows what ideas, products or solutions our discussions might come up with?

Don’t forget, tomorrow at 12.30pm in Room F, we’re running a free workshop called ‘How to add value to remote sensing by applying cutting edge scientific research to create richer imagery and data’. It would be great to see people there.

Finally, we’ve also previously talked about how we’d determine whether all of this effort is worthwhile. We’ve come up with these three metrics to measure our toe dipping into the exhibition world:

  • New contacts for customers or research partners.
  • In the next four months, gain sufficient new client business from the exhibition to cover our costs – after all this is why we are all exhibiting!
  • Develop a long-term business relationship over the course of the next year.

We’ll let you know how we got on next week. However, if you’re at Geo Business today or tomorrow why not come up and have look, talk to us and take away a few freebies. We’d love to see you.

GEO Business 2015: Adding Value to Remote Sensing

Pixalytics-show preview imageTechnological developments have made it easier, faster and cheaper to launch a satellite, and have enhanced the capabilities of the sensors onboard. This has led to an ever-increasing quantity of available data. Also, there is recognition within the space industry that it’s no longer enough to launch something into orbit, the satellite customers need to also see how they’ll get value from the data it collects.

Our workshop session at GEO Business 2015 will focus on this issue. We’ll be describing the approach we take in ‘How to add value to remote sensing by applying cutting edge scientific research to create richer imagery and data’. Anyone who knows us, or who are regular blog readers, will know that science is firmly at the heart of Pixalytics. We believe Earth observation needs to go beyond the simple provision of remote sensing data or imagery, it should produce new, innovative and unique ways of utilising the terabytes of available data. Our approach includes:

  • Research & Development – Developing innovative techniques by applying new research methodologies, such as our product that measures water heights from space using altimetry data.
  • Repurposing – Using data for more purposes than originally intended, as is happening in the US where they are using ocean colour techniques for inland waters.
  • Merging Data Sets – Using remote sensing data combined with scientific, government or other open source data to produce more than is possible with just one data type.
  • Expanding Markets – Getting people who don’t use remote sensing to think about how they could use it within their businesses and organisations.
  • Blended Solutions – Developing automated processing for data extraction and downloading, which provides visualisation solutions whenever and wherever data is needed.

If you are at GEO Business on Thursday 28th May, our workshop will be taking place just before lunch at 12.30pm in Room F and it would be great to see you there.

Talking of GEO Business, we had a great response to last week’s blog on the things we’d learnt so far preparing for our first exhibition. We had a number of suggestions on how to measure success, which was the one thing we said we didn’t know last week! Interestingly, Elaine Ball Technical Marketing are running a Twitter chat on Thursday at 4pm relating to GEO Business, and one of their questions is looking at this issue of success. It will be good to see more thoughts on the topic.

We also got a lot of advice about exhibiting. The idea of taking a duster along was something we’ve have never thought of, but it seems so obvious when you think about it. The ‘rules’ of running a stand that people sent in made great reading; ensuring we don’t start working on the laptop and phones will be something we’ll have to be vigilant of!

Our stand kit is coming together, although we’re still holding our breath over a couple of promised deliveries. How the construction of the stand will come together is shrouded in a little mystery for us, but it will certainly make next Tuesday entertaining.

If any blog readers are around the Business Design Centre next Wednesday and Thursday, please come up and say hello, we’d love to meet you; and you will have the chance to win the free prize raffle we’ll be running on the stand. Hope to see you next week!

5 Things We’ve Learnt Preparing For Our First Exhibition & the 1 Thing We Haven’t!

GlobePixalytics is becoming a conference exhibitor! After years of attending conferences, we decided, for the first time, to become an exhibitor. We are undertaking two exhibitions this year, and our first is GEO Business 2015 taking place later this month on the 27th and 28th at the Business Design Centre, in London. As complete novices in the exhibition world, we’ve had an interesting learning curve. Here are five lessons we’ve learnt during our preparation, and the one thing we still don’t know.

  1. Everything Costs! We bought an exhibition space, which has three walls and our name above it. We knew we’d have fill the shell to create the stand, but hadn’t realised exactly what this meant. It’s obvious now, but we hadn’t thought about the need to have electricity connected on the stand, various options for furniture, hiring equipment, getting things to our stand and how you actually attach items to the stand. We discovered that there is a solution to these, and numerous other things, but they all have a cost. Buying the stand space is only the start, and this has made us rethink everything from stand design to our travel arrangements.
  2. Stand Design. We knew we couldn’t compete with the big firms with their cappuccino machines, freshly baked cakes and leather chairs. We had to go for something different, and so we’ve attempted to create interesting, intriguing, slightly vintage and cost effective stand (see lesson 1!). If you are at GEO Business come along and tell us what you think. As a sneak preview, the blog picture is part of our stand.
  3. Promotional Items. You need to have promotional items, freebies and things to hand out; but the question is what? We wanted items that were interesting, promoted us and ideally would make it back to the desks of potential customers. We discounted novelty items, expensive items (see lesson 1!) and unwrapped sweets (you never known where people’s hands have been!). We’ve settled for pens (useful, and might make it back to desks) and postcards (interesting and promoting us); wrapped sweets are still being debated, you’ll have to come onto the stand to find out the decision.
  4. Talk To People, Not The Internet. A lot of the exhibition preparation can be done on the internet and by email, but we had lots of questions. We found it was far easy to talk to people, rather than simply fill out forms. We gained a lot of information by talking to the conference organising team (thank you Danielle) the company hiring the audio-visual equipment were helpful and our promotional material suppliers (Adam from Redrok was great!).
  5. Expect Phone Calls. We got a lot of phone calls once our participation was on the exhibition website, all of which were trying to sell us something! The most surprising were the numerous, and we do mean numerous, calls we’ve had offering us discounted hotel rooms.

So these are the five things we’ve learnt in our preparation, and I’m sure there will be more to learn during the stand construction and the exhibition itself. So what about the one thing we haven’t learnt? The thing we have no idea about is whether all of this effort will be worth it.

So a question for all experienced exhibitioners, how do you decide if an exhibition stand has been worthwhile? Is it the number of business cards collected, number of people spoken to, amount of publicity generated or is it about the amount of new work generated? Drop us a comment, or a tweet to @pixalytics, telling us how you measure exhibition success.

If you are coming to GEO Business 2015, please drop by the stand and say hello.