Well – It had to happen eventually, I attending my first conference outside of the motion control industry. For those of you new to me, I have been in the motion control (aka factory automation) industry for over 20 years, but 3 years ago I started to develop language apps for my daughter Caitlyn. The app business has taken off to the point where I can concentrate on it full time. As such, I am now immersing myself in the education market. One of my colleagues, Rebecca Simon, urged me multiple times to attend the ISTE conference in San Diego this week. I finally took the plunge and I’m glad I did.
The scale of the show took me off guard. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wasn’t expecting a show that had as many exhibitors and presentations as some of the biggest semiconductor shows. I heard someone say there were over 500 exhibitors and based on what I saw, I believe it. I never knew there was so much money in education. These were big companies putting on big shows. Some of the booths were manned by over 10 people. It truly was incredible. Even though I only attended the last half day, there was a lot of people and energy at the show. I learned a lot. It was also humbling. Any notion that I have hit the big time were blown out of the water in the first 5 minutes.
I had a unique opportunity to participate in a presentation on Wednesday. Dr. Katharina Boser was doing a presentation about apps for special needs children, and invited me to share the stage with her. I had the chance to introduce myself and show off my next app, TenseBuilder, all to a crowd of around 200 people. It was very gratifying to get a big round of applause when I was done. I couldn’t ask for a better forum to show off what is coming up next.
I also had the chance to meet several other presenters, and take a few of them out to dinner Wednesday night. It was a lot of fun to get to know some of the people of whom I have been emailing back and forth with for years. Another thing that came out of the dinner was my decision to attend the Closing the Gap conference this fall and the ASHA conference in November. All my dinner mates highly recommended both shows. I’m going to see if I can pull together a booth for Closing the Gap. If not, certainly for ASHA in November. I’m really looking forward to them.
All and all, it was definitely worth my time to attend.