Week 28: Free Every Day At DAC!

Plus, the secret is finally explained as to why there’s no longer a line to get into the exhibition floor on Monday.

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When I started this blog back in June, one of the first questions I got was from Daniel Payne, one of my favorite SemiWiki bloggers: “This year at DAC on Monday morning when the exhibits opened at 9 a.m. I saw for the very first time that attendees were coming down the escalators, then making a U-turn and deciding to attend the sessions instead of the exhibits. Usually there is a line waiting to get into the exhibits, but not this year. Also, what happened to Free Monday on the exhibit floor?”

Let’s start with the first part—what happened on Monday morning that was different from prior years? Well, DAC finally moved the opening session from Tuesday to Monday, the day the conference really starts with a full slate of tutorials, exhibits, and Designer/IP track sessions. This probably explains people lining up to get into the Gateway Ballroom for the general session and keynote. We had more than 1,200 people in the opening session on Monday morning. Our general chair for the 51st DAC, Soha Hassoun, made a great call when she decided to move the session from Tuesday to Monday. And next year even more people can attend our 9 a.m. general sessions and keynotes because exhibits won’t open until 10.00 a.m.

Now to “Free Monday.” I’m glad Daniel brought it up as it means that we still have some work to do in our outbound communication. DAC discontinued “Free Monday” four years ago and replaced it with “Free Everyday” through the vendor-sponsored “I Love DAC” program. The registration window runs from early April to mid-May. “I Love DAC” badge holders can access the exhibit floor, general sessions, and the evening receptions including the one that opens the conference on Sunday night.

“Free Everyday” was an important move to even out the traffic flow on the exhibit floor. Mondays used to be crazy and then exhibitors would complain about the rest of the days being awfully quiet. It worked really well the last two years and we believe it got traction.

But then again, if Daniel and others still wonder what happened to “Free Monday,” we may need to do some more work. Wondering anything else about DAC? My offer stands that I’ll answer every email directly and possibly in a post to this blog, though not for the next two weeks. I’ll be taking a break and traveling home for the holidays, which I hope are restful and happy for all of you. I might post a picture or two, but most likely no more DAC updates until January! Frohe Weihnachten and Frohes Neues Jahr!

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