I had attended DAC before as a user running teams for multimedia IP development back in Germany – we called them “Design Objects” at the time to mimic a software development feeling of re-use, but my favorite DAC moment came as a vendor at DAC 2003 in Anaheim. I was VP of Marketing at AXYS Design Automation – an early virtual prototyping startup – and experienced firsthand how to optimize return in investment in the start-up world.
We had managed to get a 20 x 20 booth right at one of the entrances, but we were determined to save money and I ended up doing almost everything myself – I dream of the white DAC folder with all the order forms sometimes. I had camped out the four days prior to opening in Anaheim, making sure personally that the booth would be built correctly, that the signage was OK and found its correct place, that the professional speaker was trained for the presentations in our theatre.
Of course I spent one night until 2am at Kinko’s to re-print one of the signs that had gone wrong and did un-counted trips from the car to the convention center. There is that moment I won’t forget at which I realized that it was all worth it. 10:02 on opening day, 2 minutes after the show opened, the whole booth was surrounded by attendees, the booth theatre was full, the first presentation had kicked off and the DAC photographer stood on a ladder to take a picture of the booth with a huge number of people around it. That was instant gratification - all the work had paid off. And we collected an enormous amount of leads that DAC.