Today is the final day of conference sessions.
Although I would certainly have benefited from attending the Encouraging Sales presentations, I decided that I could also benefit from sleeping a little longer and then checking my email, so that was what I did. However, I made sure that I made it to the Networking session presented by Phil Schnyder of askSam Systems, Jessica Dewell of Happy Hangers and President of the Association of Shareware Professionals, and Ronny Karl of SurfWare Labs. It was everything I expected, plus more, as it became something of an interactive workshop. It was definitely worthwhile, and I have to mention that Andrei Belogortseff, of WinAbility Software, and Thomas Hruska, of CubicleSoft (ShareWrap), were the stars from the audience.
Lunch already? The ESC Luncheon was next on the schedule, presented by the Educational Software Cooperative, and just for fun, the SIAF held it in a different location from the ASP Luncheon, requiring a little bit of hunting to find our food. I sat between Dave Gjessing, of WaverlyStreet and Clintonville Software, and Brandon Staggs, of Akamai Software (SwordSearcher), and the conversation was excellent. The Outstanding Achievement in Educational Software was presented to Kathy Salisbury of Pharos Games.
After lunch, I attended the Design Web Sites to Sell session presented by Dave Collins, of SharewarePromotions, and Dave Sampson, of MixMeister. The latter Dave provided an excellent before and after comparison of his web site redesign with specific comments about various design decisions, and stated the fact that sales improved enough to pay for the change within days. Dave Collins showed several sites as examples of good and bad web design. Of course, there is a little bit of subjectivity, and my neighbor was vocal in his disagreement regarding one of the “good” sites where Dave had admitted to some guidelines being broken.
The next session was the rescheduled eMail Marketing, Newsletters, etc. presentation, which included Thomas Warfield, of Goodsol Development, and Sarah Brook, of CNet. The session was quite good, and although I knew some of the newsletter information from working directly with Thomas, the whole of the session really helped me solidify my decisions regarding newsletters.
The final conference period was a choice between Selling and Licensing Source Code and Visual Studio 2005 for the Independent Developer. I chose to spend time networking and talking business in the hotel lobby rather than attend either session, but all reports from presenters and attendees were that the latter session was excellent, and as it was the last time slot of the conference, they were able to run for an extra hour over their time at the request of the session attendees. It looks like I will actually need to break the seal on my Visual Studio 2005 beta, despite my previous disappointment with VS 2003.
The hotel lobby is fairly quiet now, as most of the conference attendees are preparing for the SIAF Awards Banquet, which will be the subject of my next blog entry.
Common Ground update: Tonight I will be missing Alan Parsons Live Project, who I really wanted to see. I must admit to being a little confused by the selection of Christopher Cross as the opening act, though he is a fine singer that I would probably enjoy hearing.