Today was our suppliers exhibition, originally set up for external suppliers to visit the University. A few years ago internal suppliers of services were invited to attend, and we've made a point of being there ever since. It's an opportunity for us to meet our customers, show off new developments and services and have a chat to people as they pass. We try and project a professional image, with well designed stands - this year we had four stands covering Computing Services, Audio Visual Services, the Print Service and Transport Services.
A great way to get people to come over and start to chat with you is by giving away freebies, and there's usually a lot of competition for the best ones to be found at the exhibition - this year's winner is one of the local hotels who were giving away bottles of Henderson's Relish - a great local delicacy brewed across the road from the Information Commons. We stuck to pens, post it notes and sweets, but I'm definitely thinking about bottles of relish for next year!
I always try and get over for at least part of the day and staff the stand - chat to people, find out what they're interested in and get feedback on our services. Lots of questions this year about Google mail and uSpace, as well as the usual technical queries, which is why we always have the experts from the Helpdesk on the stand, so that there are some people who know what they're talking about!