"I’m sick of product pitches. [..] I am interested in their design process, technology lessons learned, new techniques and tools that improved development, etc."
I kinda agreed with Dave Statement and continued to following the conversations happening on his post. Here's a couple of comments that worth considering;
Rob Hyndman : Is there value in showcasing to people who aren’t? Media, VCs, potential strategic partners, and the like?
John Kopanas : I MCed DemoCampMontreal and felt the local did not really create, for me, the right ambience.
Ryan : Another option would be to reserve a spot for a theoretical presentation by a prof or other luminary that would address larger issues that are (or should be) relevant to this community.
Derek : To keep the quality of the demos high and on interesting topics, you could let the community vote and pick the demos they want to see from a list of proposed presentations.
Mark Kuznicki : The authentic sense of wow comes from a show of acrobatic ingenuity, the dramatic stories of challenges overcome.
Thomas Purves : I still prefer the idea to let the community vote on presentations digg style in advance of the event.
Kieran Huggins : reformat it to more of a BarCamp format where we have several (or all) demos going concurrent and for longer periods of time.
I have been to a couple of these camps. At times participated in sleuth mode, just stand at the back and listen. Other times, hang around and chit chat over beers. I have seen some incredible stuff happening and great interaction with the tech community at these events. However, after nearly 1 year of democamp's, there is a tone of discord begining to araise.
I normally do my own diggin in terms of what demo's are slotted. If there none that really interest me, I just don't go to the event. I really think that demo's should be left to the side and not included.
Rather just "A talk" on technology by somebody - a good solid 30 minutes spill. If ppt needs to be used so be it. Another thing that I would like to see, is an open floor for questions from the audience to the audience. At times, its easier to get the ears of 100-150 peeps with simple open questions. Create a discussion, at the event. There is no such thing as a silly question. Just give a 45 min slot and pass the mike around.. people raise their hand to ask the question. Let the audience respond. If the discussion becomes to heated. A Mod cuts in and a gong gets hit !! yeah, we dont need a Jerry Springer show happening correct ?? Or Just have the audience throw in their questions into a hat and then they get pulled out read out to the particpants. This may ensure anon mode of raising issues/ questioning too !!
Q: Why don't more people contribute?
A: They either (a) want to withhold value that they may cash in later or, (b) they are not sure if they will get credit for their contribution. One of the most important things you can do if you manage community-based ecosystems is to highlight and thank those who particpate and give credit where credit is due.
Right now the audience believe , they are present to see a demo and hear another person's spill /pitch. Whereas, they are have to come to the event thinking-- here is what I need to share, or here is what I need to ask. The value is the audience. IF they interact in a manner and mode which creates value,then that becomes their take away !!