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IBM Connect Showcase Booths, and what makes a good demo?

It's a question that I've been wondering since the shift from Lotusphere (an event which was highly-technical developer and administration focused) to Connect (more management and enterprise social strategy focused)... and even moreso that I'm attending this year.

IBM Connect GBS Booth

I know what I like to see at a booth and I know what I can't stand at a booth... but I don't know if I'm in the minority or the majority.

When I'm in the product showcase (which is honestly - aside from seeing friends that I only get to see at events like this - my favorite part of Lotusphere/Connect), I want to see what people are doing with the technologies that I use. I want to see innovation and I want to see things that will inspire me. I want to be WOW-ed.

I want to interact with fellow developers and administrators, not sales and marketing types that're only interested in selling me their shrinkwrapped solution.

The problem is, the marketing and sales budgets that are tethered to what is actually showcased at events like this depend on the audience. If Connect is now a managers show, then can we expect a managers-focused showcase?

Does that mean that we lose the developers at the booths? Does that mean that we'll have to wade through the celebrity look-alike photobooths (that happened), car show-esc short skirtted models (that happened, too), and toothy insincere sizing up of attendees? I hope not...

I'm "working a booth" at Connect this year, and I plan on being a resource to those attendees who, like me, want to collaborate with a fellow developer who uses IBM Notes Domino, XPages, Connections, and even non-IBM technologies. I plan on answering questions, not scanning badges. I plan on discussing problems and suggesting potential solutions.

I plan on hanging out and talking - talking to whoever shows up at the booth.

And I might personally be showing off some cool, non-product, proof of concept demos that might not be completely business-applicable.

... because that's the type of booth I like, but again, I might be in the minority there.

What kind of booth do you like at shows like Lotusphere and Connect? What do you think makes a good demo? And what would you love to see from someone working a booth? Let me know in the comments below.


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