Reviewing VivaTech 2024

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend VivaTech 2024 in Paris for the first time. Not knowing what to expect, I wanted to share my experiences for those considering attending next year. The event promised to promote new, growing, and startup tech companies and products, and it certainly delivered on that promise.

The show featured over 800 exhibitors, ranging from early-stage startups to global giants like Tesla, BYD, IBM, Microsoft, Meta, L’Oréal, and Sanofi. This diverse mix provided a comprehensive snapshot of the tech industry’s current landscape and future directions. As with larger shows such as CES and IFA, there is a constant emphasis on energy and water conservation, plus an ongoing focus on health, wellness and recovery.

Photo: Dermot Connolly

The exhibition was spread over two halls connected by a bridge. Wednesday was busy but manageable, whereas Thursday saw an overwhelming crowd. Navigating the corridors and getting close to the stands became quite challenging due to the density of visitors, especially with numerous group tours blocking the walkways. For future events, it would be beneficial if the organizers could consider adding an extra hall to ease congestion. While I understand that space might have been limited due to other exhibitions at the Paris Expo, this is a crucial aspect to consider for next year.

Accessing the event was another area that could use improvement. Only three entry gates were open each morning, resulting in long queues. Increasing the number of entry points could significantly reduce wait times and improve the overall attendee experience.

Once inside, the variety of products on display was impressive. There was a strong emphasis on AI and software platforms, but I also encountered many innovative physical products. Highlights included Cosmo smart helmets for e-scooters, Talkit 3D language learning support tools, and  Kikleo food scanners aimed at reducing waste in restaurants and kitchens. Additionally, there were numerous products focused on electric vehicles (Mob Energy, Wattalps and Captop), energy and water conservation (Droople), and air purification devices such as Bioteos for both homes and offices.

Most brands had clear displays explaining their products or services, which made it easy to determine if the offering aligned with what we’re looking for. However, some booths lacked these explanations, leading to frustrating experiences where you had to engage in conversation only to find out the product wasn’t a fit. On the positive side, many exhibitors were young, growing companies, so you often had the chance to speak directly with CEOs or founders. This direct interaction was valuable for quickly assessing potential collaborations or follow-up meetings.

Reflecting on the experience, VivaTech 2024 was definitely worth attending. I met many innovative companies and gained valuable insights. While the event was generally well-organized, implementing some of the suggestions mentioned above could make it even more enjoyable and productive. I look forward to attending again next year and hope to see these improvements in place.

Thank you to everyone I met and to VivaTech for hosting such a dynamic event. Special shoutouts to Cosmo, Talkit, Kikleo, Mob Energy, Wattalps, Captop, and Bioteos for the enlightening conversations and innovative displays. Looking forward to seeing how VivaTech evolves next year!

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