Last Wednesday I walked the floor of the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), with the added bonus of catching the panel discussion on "Who's Taking Over Whom - Is EDA moving Into Embedded or Embedded into EDA" supported by Mac (a/k/a Michael McNamara). While this panel was very engaging, (check out fellow blogger Steve Brown's account here), instead of blogging about the panel I've been inspired to step back and consider the marketing trade craft of the show itself. Let me explain: when I first stepped onto the show floor, and surveyed the sea of booths and their various charms, out of the blue I recalled a request from blogger JL Gray last summer, when he stated "I'd much rather see the marketing guys write a separate blog on their experiences in marketing".
Hence, in the "spirit of marketing", I invite you to consider the following categories of industry events:
* Definition: The exposition is the main focal point of the event
* Examples: ESC, DAC
"Paper centric" shows
* Definition: The presentation and discussion of technical papers are the central driver of the show
* Examples: DVCon, CDNLive
Of course, both types of shows have overlapping features like keynote speakers, expert panel discussions, technical papers & workshops, etc. However, I trust the distinction between the formats -- and attendee expectations (i.e. "I'm going to [show XYZ] see a lot of vendor's wares in one convenient place" vs. "I'm going to [conference ABC] hear a lot of technical papers in a short period of time" -- is clear.
Before I discourse on the relative status and merits of these two, admittedly overly simplified categories, allow me to ask the reader the following overly simplified survey question:
Which type of event do you prefer in general?
a) Booth-centric events (like ESC or DAC)
b) Paper-centric events (like DVCon or CDNLive)
c) Neither - physical shows are obsolete in the Internet age
[[[ Click here to register an answer ]]]
For the purposes of this question, assume that:
* travel budget and other worldy constraints are not an issue
* the events themselves are of equally high quality and/or are best-in-class
If you are unsure of your answer, I recommend skimming this very good ESC-inspired commentary in last Friday's EET on "Meeting with the unexpected" by Junko Yoshida, and see if you are influenced by her ode to conferences.
Until next time, "vote early and vote often" ...
Joe Hupcey III