I'm here at DEMO '09 in Palm Desert and right off the bat, Executive Producer Chris Shipley addressed the elephant in the room, or in this case, the elephant not in the room. There are far fewer companies introducing new products at this year's show and fewer people in the audience watching.
2009 is "what I think of as a reset year," Shipley said. "There's nothing like a recession to clear out the clutter."
In DEMO's case, that clutter accounts to almost half the companies that would normally be presenting. Last fall's DEMO had 73 companies, by my count. This year's has just 39. And the audience is down from 700 to 500.
What's the good news? "These demonstrators have business models that make sense. ... a refreshing counterbalance to what we've seen in the past of gathering up lots of users and figuring out what you're going to do with them later," Shipley says.