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Summer marks countdown to DEMOfall

While the lunar calendar may not agree, Memorial Day marks the traditional start of summer. So this morning, millions of Americans have brushed off the three-day weekend to return to work, sure in the knowledge that school will soon adjourn for the year, vacations are around the corner, and the next three months will pose plenty of opportunity to consume one's weight in beer and barbeque.

It's the summer slide, when late nights in the office become rare and no one can really blame you for taking a long lunch on a beautiful summer afternoon. Work continues, but the pace is so much nicer ... unless, of course, you're responsible for meeting and evaluating hundreds of companies to prepare for DEMOfall 2006.

Don't get me wrong, I plan to make plenty of room for backyard cookouts and maybe even slip away for a Giants day game once or twice. But the Tuesday after Memorial Day is, for me, the starting gun for the run-up to DEMOfall, where about 70 companies will introduce new consumer and business products to the DEMO faithful, an audience of investors, media, business development execs, and early-adopter customers who know that by being among the first to see these new products they are in the best position to capitalize on the opportunities these products and technologies present.

Plans for this September's conference are well underway. In addition to our trademark 6-minute product demonstrations, we'll dive deep into two market areas that will surely disrupt business as usual. John Patrick will lead FutureScan discussions with leading thinkers on the future of mobile technology and the real applications of nanotechnology.

The rest of the program will develop over the next 90 days, as I meet with companies that hope to bring new ideas to market this fall. Here's a hint: my calendar is nearly full through June and DEMOfall company selections will be completed by mid-August. So if you're thinking about a September product launch and you're thinking that DEMOfall is the place to do it, you'd better check the demonstrator section of the Web site and get your application in now.
So, while you're thinking about the beach, I'll be looking at the beta software from dozens of companies. As you step up to bat for your softball league team, I'll be catching a pitch of a different sort. And when the temperature rises beyond comfort, I'll be turning up the heat on the hottest young companies. Sounds like my kind of summer.

Chris Shipley is the executive producer of NetworkWorld's DEMO Conferences, Editor of DEMOletter and a technology industry analyst for nearly 20 years. She can be reached at Shipley, has covered the personal technology business since 1984 and is regarded as one of the top analysts covering the technology industry today. Shipley has worked as a writer and editor for variety of technology consumer magazines, including PC Week, PC Magazine, PC/Computing, and InfoWorld, US Magazine and Working Woman. She has written two books on communications and Internet technology, has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence, and was named the No. 1 newsletter editor by Marketing Computers for two years in a row. To subscribe to DEMOletter please visit:

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