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24th
FEB

Symbian Foundation – Application Spotlight MWC09 Summary

Posted by Lester Madden under General, Symbian, Travel

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A few weeks back we decided, wouldn’t it be great if we could have real developers speak on our Symbian Foundation exhibition stand at Mobile World Congress. So we sent out an email to our developer community, sweet talked a few bloggers into giving us a mention and generally made a nuisance of ourselves asking for developers to contact us if they wanted to give a 15 minute talk on our stand. The only requirements were the application had to run on a S60 5th Edition device (eg Nokia the 5800).

After a flurry of activity, we reviewed the submissions to make sure that everything was based on 5th edition and behold the Application Spotlight was born with community presentations starting on the hour ever hour on the exhibition stand. Having done a lot of events in the past, it does take and enormous leap of faith to let someone you have never met before loose with a microphone on your exhibition stand, think of getting married and having an open mic for strangers to give the best mans speech. Each of the presenters however did an excellent job in presenting; I was actually wowed by what I saw. There are a lot of really cool applications that I am going to have to install.

What was initially a scary experiment into the world of letting your community do the talking for you turned out to be a massive success, and in my biased opinion as the organizer, was by far the best feature of the stand. However, being someone who likes to tackle problems I took away a few lessons learnt for next time.

  • It’s impossible to predict how big the audience will be at any given time. Some days we were slammed at 1pm, other days it was quiet. Need to even the distribution.
  • Implementing some kind of count down timer with details about the next presentation is a must. People need to know something is about to happen so stick around instead of wondering away and missing out.
  • Need to help developers promote their presence better. We did business cards for presenters to give out to drive people to their presentation. Those that used it got the most from the show, but there is always more that can be done.
  • Do more to get Operators and store providers along to help the developer build business contacts.
  • Perhaps next time have the spotlight sponsored so we give away a prize for the best pitch.

In the spirit of openness, we have asked our spotlight guys to list their comments so we can be better next time.

The Application Spotlight was a new thing for us and a few of you came up after and asked how you can get involved in the future. As it’s a newbie there is no strict process so here are a couple of options:

  • Sign up to the Symbian Foundation developer program as we’ll send out notifications here.
  • Keep your eye on the official Symbian Foundation blog.
  • I will of course let you know here.

The next major event where we may well look to repeat this exercise is the London Smartphone Show 27-28 October 2009. I’ll be responsible for the Mobile DevFest aspect which is the developer event, so there is a good chance we’ll do something at the show.

The list of companies that presented on the stand at MWC09 were:

Application spotlight in action

More pictures can be found here:

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