Our company is going to host a software/solution demonstration track at our next conference, which is focusing on operational resiliency through technology.
I am going to include in my call for proposals/demonstrations the type of demonstrations requested (current state and future state, interactive and immersive), the equipment we will provide (internet, podium, laptop, screen, mouse, laser pointer), the benefits of demonstrating to the audience, the schedule and session durations, important delivery dates and fees to participate. I am going to request a title, a description of the solution/challenge/case study the demonstration will address, a script, screenshots, and additional practical requirements (e.g. if they want a hardwired, dedicated internet connection). If their proposal is approved, I am going to require they provide myself and my leadership team a preview of their demonstration about 2 months before the conference. I will also provide onsite testing the day before their demonstration during the conference.
I am seeking advice on making the call for proposals/demos and the logistics of hosting these demonstrations onsite.
1) A sample form for requesting a call for demonstrations
2) Guidelines for submitting a demonstration proposal
3) Best practices for conducting live solution/software demonstrations during a conference including any pitfalls I should avoid
4) The ideal length of a solution demo - how long will the audience sit still for this?
5) Unique immersive solutions - e.g. handing out tablets so people can interact with the demo - have you ever seen this done? I'm worried it will cause disruption and be a burden on my small staff. So if you've done it, was it worth it? Did the audience find it useful or distracting?
6) Ideas for rating the demonstration so we can have a Best Demo award based on audience ratings - and what should they rate? Do you have an example survey?
7) The ideal configuration for a solution demo. We are considering pop-up stages with headsets in our exhibit hall. Kind of like Cvent Connect. But is it better to have scheduled demos, where your sponsor providers have paid to play, in a sort of breakout session room, separated from your exhibit hall?
8) Live vs Recorded: In addition to the live solution demos, I am considering having stations where delegates can walk up and request a pre-recorded demo on-demand. Have you ever done this and was it popular or a waste of money and time? If the former, what advice can you give me in terms of setup?THANK YOU SO MUCH IN ADVANCE FOR ANY ASSISTANCE YOU CAN PROVIDE. Feel free to DM me.
Hi Mary,This is something we implemented in our annual meeting as well last year. I don't have answers to all your questions, but can help on the below.3) Best practices for conducting live solution/software demonstrations during a conference including any pitfalls I should avoid. Make sure that the audience can hear each demonstration. We had a "demo stage" in the corner of a ballroom that hosted our main demos. The speakers had microphones, screen and a small set of theater seating. We used pipe and drape to assist with the noise. We had other demo stations that were custom branded 8' bars. Each bar has 2 barstools, standing monitor and attendees were able to gather to watch a demo or ask questions.
4) The ideal length of a solution demo - how long will the audience sit still for this? Our main stage solution demo stations were 15 minutes each, all others were more casual (walk-up) and held during our 30 min am/pm break times.
8) Live vs Recorded: In addition to the live solution demos, I am considering having stations where delegates can walk up and request a pre-recorded demo on-demand. Have you ever done this and was it popular or a waste of money and time? If the former, what advice can you give me in terms of setup? Definitely do live so people can engage and ask questions in real time.