For the upcoming Demo show, the key word is definitely change. The self-styled “launch pad for emerging technology” will see some of the most significant changes in its history.
By far the biggest change is the departure of the show’s longtime executive producer, Chris Shipley. During this show, Shipley will be essentially passing the executive producer position to Matt Marshall of VentureBeat.
The show itself will also look a bit different, mainly in size and scope. From the list released today, Feb. 27, it looks as if there will be 40 companies presenting at Demo March 1 to 3. Last year’s shows both had nearly twice the number of presenters. In a bad economy, there may not be as much venture money as in past years available for launching startups at shows like Demo.
Looking at the agenda of the show, it’s clear that the economy will be a big focus. More than a few sessions focus on making do with less and doing things more efficiently.
Of course, this is Demo, so there are plenty of the standard companies presenting, from the Web 2.0 and social networking players to mobile developers to cutting-edge hardware makers.
Is the smaller presenter list a sign of things to come for Demo or just a predictable side effect of the current recession? Only time will tell.
Hopefully next week’s show will prove to be the launch pad for the next big company or maybe start a wave of new technology entrepreneurs. I hope so, as we can use any kind of kick-start we can get.
Check back for updates, videos, interviews and my take on the presenters as I attend the Demo conference in Palm Desert, California next week.