Preparing for the big annual user conference

I am in charge of the User Experience Design (UXD) presence at our big annual conference – EMC World, which starts in a week, in Vegas. I am certainly no stranger to user conferences, having attended/presented/done usability tests at 15 Lotusphere conferences and 1 SolidWorks conference. But I’ve never been in charge of the entire UXD presence before.

EMC has several different divisions, and we all get together to create one unified UXD presence at EMC world. I’m the director of one of the divisions – Advanced Software Design – and it has been the division that coordinates the UX from other divisions, so we’re continuing that this year. We have a booth on the trade show floor (aka the pavilion), and a separate usability testing session room. This is new for me – I’ve almost always only had a usability testing session room.

I’m really excited about the booth in the pavilion. In past years it’s been used mainly to get people to fill our surveys. This year, we’ll have a “comment wall” that asks about mobile use, and we’re doing persona validation – we’ll have big posters of our personas and we’ll ask people to read and react and provide additional info on how THEY work – to make our personas more “real.” Here’s a mock-up of what we think the persona exercise will look like in the booth:

Picture of persona exercise
I’m hoping to leverage social media to drive traffic to the booth. It seems to me that the EMC crowd is not as active in user groups as the SolidWorks  customers… nor is the EMC crowd as active on twitter or Facebook… so we’ll see.  When I worked for IBM, tweeting and blogging drove a lot of traffic but, I was working  on products ABOUT social media and collaboration… and now I am not. So we’ll see how it goes.

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