DemoDay 2012: Instilling a Home Team Advantage

It was only two months ago when Adam Lorant, Cindy Pearson, and I met and brainstormed the idea of hosting our Centre4Growth.  It’s been a sprint ever since.

The context was simple. We have a lot of great technology companies here in BC—many of whom need strong customer relationships in order to build world-class products and take the company to the next stage. Far too often, we see companies (including some that I’ve been part of), go far afield in order to secure their first customer.

We thought we’d try to change that. So, in the span of less than 60 days, the BCTIA and Centre4Growth team did the near impossible and launched a truly world-class demo event. 

But unlike other demo conferences, which tend to focus on tech journalists and venture capitalists, DemoDay 2012 was all about buyers. So, we split the organizing into two parts.

Adam graciously volunteered to lead the demo training with all the companies—an intensive process which spanned three weeks. After all, we wanted to make sure that the buying organizations in attendance would not be disappointed. As evidenced at the DemoDay event, Adam did an awesome job and so did all of the companies.

The second part was to secure the attendance of real buyers. The team worked the phones, sent hundreds of emails and in the end secured over 40 organizations spanning city government, crown corporations, retailers like BestBuy, industrial companies and of course large tech companies. Jordan Tinney, CIO at the Vancouver School Board summed it up pretty well in his blog post on Friday.

In all, we had over a hundred people at DemoDay 2012, and the buzz in the room was fantastic. There was talk of follow-on meetings and customer pilots—all a testament to what you can achieve when you bring tech companies and buyers together in a single venue and inspire a Home Team Advantage for BC tech companies. 

To learn more about the 13 companies that participated, visit DemoDay 2012.