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Birdseye View of Shareware Industry Conference

Danny's View of SIC

Shareware Industry Conference Birdseye View
By Dan Housley

This year's 15th annual Shareware Industry Conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center in Denver, Colorado. Around 350 developers, from around the world, traveled to participate in this conference. At a total of 4 days long, SIC is one of the biggest and most popular shareware conferences.

Most developers attend SIC with hopes of meeting other shareware developers, exploring business ventures, discovering new business opportunities, and locating potential customers. SIC also offers the chance for attendees to acquire and share knowledge. Developers have the choice to speak in sessions, or attend them. In total, there are 30 sessions, each an hour long. A list of the sessions can be found at http://www.sic.org/schedule.asp

This year's SIC was a great success! It had a record turnout, and the Board of Directors plan to have SIC in Denver next year!

The following is my recap of SIC this year. When I arrived at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center, for this year's Shareware Industry Conference, I was intrigued by the intricate and unique design of the hotel building. After being ushered in, we checked in at the hotel. The hotel had stellar service, and it made the process much easier. After conversing with fellow developers, I hurried to my room.

After I brought my luggage to my room, I went back downstairs. I then helped in the Registration Booth, and I stuffed complimentary bags you receive when you register for the conference. Several hours later I went up to my room to change for the SIAF Reception.

Held in the Centennial Room, on the 12th floor, the SIAF Reception offered breath taking scenery. Majestic mountains loomed close by, and the sun set behind them. After taking in the scenery, I spoke to several developers I had "talked" to online, but never actually seen. After talking with numerous attendees, I went to my room, to sleep.

The sessions began the next day. After eating a wonderful omelet breakfast, I went off to my first session, Cyber Crime, at 10:15. The session I attended was wonderful, and one the best I've seen. In between sessions, I spoke to several developers, and most of them were friendly and have great business ideas. After sessions were over, I attended a reception hosted by Digital River. Much to everyone's surprise, there was a mechanical bull in the middle of the room!

While I didn't learn quite as much as in the sessions, Bull Riding was fun. Bull Riding offered a chance to relax, and engage fellow developers in discussion. Participants in the Bull Riding had a chance to: dress up, ride the bull, and get judged on how well they rode. Winners of the competition received gifts from Digital River.

After observing many respected developers getting thrown from the bull, and surviving a ride myself, I played "Starburst Blackjack". Instead of chips, you use Starbursts. After winning a respectable amount of StarBursts, I headed up to my room, to sleep.

The next day, after eating a breakfast of tough and chewy waffles, I went off to attend my first session, "Visual Studio Shareware Starter Kit". It was another great session, and also one of my favorites. After the sessions ended, I went to my room to get changed for Exhibit Night.

Exhibit Night was fabulous! Exhibition Night offered a chance to learn more about products, and win prizes. Also, in the Exhibit "Show Room", there was a great buffet. There were more than 20 exhibits (a list of the exhibits can be seen at http://www.sic.org/exhibitnight.asp , and caricature artists! Exhibit Night was certainly a bundle of fun.

After Exhibit Night there was a Dessert Buffet sponsored by Dr. FileFinder and FeedForAll. The Dessert Buffet was great! With a variety of different desserts, developers casually walked around, enjoying themselves, and their desserts. After eating my fill, I headed up to my room, to sleep.

The next morning, after I dined at the hotel caf´┐Ż, I walked around, and talked with several developers. After doing so, I found it was nearly 3:00! I attended the last session, "Visual Studio 2005 for the Independent Developer", and it was quite educational, and I learned more than I expected from it.

After the sessions I got changed for the banquet. The Awards Banquet was one of the most interesting I've seen. First came dinner, which was either chicken or prime rib. After polishing off a scrumptious meal, dessert was served. The dessert was wonderful! It was composed of chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate.

After finishing the wonderful dessert, the comedian came on. He was extremely humorous, and used physical humor to convey his opinions. After that, there was the award ceremony. And so far, I think it was one of the most interesting. Phil Shnyder emceed the ceremony, and he was very comical. A complete list of the winners can be seen here: http://www.sic.org/2005nominees.asp .

Overall, the Shareware Industry Conference this year was great. An immense amount of people came, and the sessions were quite good. If SIC continues to be such a success and educational experience, I urge all shareware developers to attend.

About the Author:
Dan Housley is a student intern at Software Marketing Resource http://www.softwaremarketingresource.com and http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts.

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