Man was that a lot of fun!  It took about four hours of production planning, a bunch of phone calls, e-mails, and presentation proofing, but that was all worth it to put together what turned out to be a really interesting Lotusphere Idol! audition session today.  

We had five contestants -- Bob Baehr, Jonathan Griep, David Price, Chris Toohey, and Andy Pedisich participate in today's "Idol" auditions.  Each of them prepared a five-minute presentation or excerpt, along with a one-minute answer to "why should you be the Lotusphere Idol?"  The judges -- Bob Balaban, Gabriella Davis, Kristin Keene, Paul Mooney, and Bill Chuck -- provided instant feedback and then later deliberated to choose the winner.  It was a tough competition, with all five guys putting forth a great effort.   The judges selected Andy Pedisich as the Lotusphere Idol!  Thank you to all the contestants.

Andy's prize is a session on the Lotusphere agenda on Thursday morning at 8:30 AM.  On Wednesday, he will spend two hours with speaker coach Bill Chuck, as well as have access to track managers and veteran speakers for input on shaping his presentation.  That Thursday 8:30 AM slot has some great sessions in it, but I hope some of you will be able to turn out to see Andy talk about upgrading to Notes/Domino 8.  More details on his weblog here.

There was some fun to the session, too.  We had planted two "ringers" in the contestant agenda.  The first was a guy from "Redwood Consulting", and he showed up on stage with a baseball cap and sunglasses.  A few slides into his presentation, it was clear we were dealing with an impostor -- Microsoft's Gary Devendorf.  The second was from "Zippers Consulting" and appeared quite timid on stage.  When it was his turn to compete, he belted out the first few verses of "Somewhere over the rainbow" before I managed to get Rob Novak off the stage.

Some pictures from the competition are posted on flickr here.  For 2009, if we do the session again, we learned that we need a visible countdown clock, microphones for all the judges, and most importantly, better session and competition marketing.  There were maybe 200 people in the audience, but I bet with the right scheduling and publicity, we could make this as big a deal as sessions like Gurupalooza.  Thank you to all who attended and supported us!

On Wednesday, I'll be on a Lotusphere stage one more time.  I'm presenting ID601, "Understanding the Marketplace Advantages for IBM Lotus Solutions", with Paul Culpepper.  See us in the Dolphin North Hemisphere room D&E at 3 PM.

Post a Comment