The DevLearn Conference and Expo is about 2 months away, and the excitement is already starting to build. When I speak to people about the conference I hear lots of things that people are excited about including the keynotes headlined by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the featured sessions, and of course the opportunity to connect with other members of the Guild community.
But when you talk about DevLearn, there’s one topic that always seems to come up: DemoFest.
DemoFest is one of my personal favorite aspects of DevLearn, and I’m not unique in feeling that way. DemoFest in many ways represents everything DevLearn is about, from the sharing, to the learning, to the community, and more. DemoFest is a core part of the DevLearn experience, and something unique that you can’t get at any other event.
There are two major ways that DevLearn attendees can participate in DemoFest – as an attendee viewing projects and as an exhibitor sharing a project. Both options have their own unique value propositions. In this post I’m going to look at each option.
What is DemoFest?
DemoFest is a highlight of any DevLearn experience. It involves over 80 members of the eLearning Guild Community bringing the eLearning and Performance Support projects to DevLearn and sharing them in a science fair-like environment. Attendees have the opportunity to see a wide variety of solutions to common eLearning challenges we all face, and to talk with the project developers about the tools, technologies and processes they used to build them. This year’s eLearning DemoFest promises to be the biggest and best DemoFest yet.
DemoFest is always one of my favorite parts of the DevLearn experience. Being able to see examples of elearning projects is great on it’s own, and one of my favorite ways to get new ideas for my own design. What takes DemoFest further is the atmosphere in which it takes place.
First, You’re not just looking at project examples. You’re looking at examples with the developers present. That’s a huge difference. Being able to speak with the developers gives you a greater understanding of the context behind the project.
For example, what was the organizational need this project addressed? What constraints were the developers working under? What challenges did the encounter along the way (and how did they overcome them)? There are countless questions that can be asked of the developers, and the answers you get will help you gain new ideas and build context that can help you enhance your own elearning projects.
Exhibiting at DemoFest
Another way to participate is to submit your project for consideration to be included in DemoFest. I’ve spoken to a large number of community members that have shared their projects at DemoFest, and they all consider it to be a great learning experience (and very rewarding).
Sharing your project at DemoFest is an extremely unique and valuable learning opportunity. You get to receive feedback from attendees that you share your project with. More importantly, you get to answer their questions, and for many exhibitors, this is the most valuable part of exhibiting. I’ve heard a great number of exhibitors tell me that they identified ways to improve projects based on the feedback and questions that are asked as part of DemoFest.
Sharing your project at DemoFest is a tremendously valuable experience, and something that many exhibitors look forward to year-after-year.
Join the Fun at the Biggest and Best DemoFest Yet!
If you’re planning to attend DevLearn this October, be sure to include DemoFest as part of your agenda, it’s an event you won’t want to miss. If you’re interested in sharing your project at DemoFest this year, there’s still time to submit your project for consideration! The deadline for project submissions is September 26th, 2014.
See you in Vegas!