Monday, November 17, 2008

DevLearn 08 debrief

Today was our first day back from DevLearn 08 and like good learning professionals, we conducted a debrief. Although we've been attending several conferences this year, this was our first conference where we were exhibiting. We made a lot of assumptions and we took a few leaps of faith.

Here's an overview of some of our major decisions:
-We were late in registering, so ended up with a lounge in one of the hallways instead of a booth in the Expo Hall.
-We spent a lot of time creating marketing materials to represent what we're doing.
-We planned a wine tasting event one evening to bring additional people over to talk to us in a more social environment.
-We did a Master Class where we were able to talk specifically about our Virtual Immersion methodology, and the Virtual Territory specifically.

At the show, it was clear that some of our decisions were good ones. Although we didn't intend to get a lounge, our location by the bathrooms, in a corner of the hallway by the Serious Games Zone and on the way to the lunch and keynote area, was ideal. And we had the opportunity to set up tables so that we could actually sit down with people and give demos. There were several other vendors that complained that we were given preferential treatment in our location--ha! I have to say, it was really much better not being clumped in the Expo Hall. We were complained about to the conference management. We were complimented on our display. We met some really interesting people throughout the show and at our wine tasting. Overall a fantastic coming out party, and sure to be the standard by which all future conferences where we exhibit are measured.

Here were the notes from our debrief today:
What went well:
• Having seating area to conduct demos and have more private, detailed conversations
• Crib notes for our talking points
• Having a large monitor to display our work
• Wine event
• Made noise and got people's attention
• Showed our expertise in the application of virtual worlds to learning
• Good coming out party
• Showed the ability to tailor our messages to different audiences

What we should do differently next time:
• New demo reel
• Maybe audio on the demo reel?
• Attend more sessions
• Always go to lunch with the attendees
• Practice the short and detailed pitches
• Prep more data

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