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Matt Marshall at DEMO Fall 2010Okay, I admit it: I let loose and danced a little last night. After a year of planning, globetrotting, meeting entrepreneurs, and looking for the best new technologies in the world, it was finally time to celebrate. DEMO, the conference for which I’m the executive producer, celebrated its 20th anniversary as the tech world’s ultimate launchpad for new products this week in a new home — Silicon Valley, the pulsing heart of the tech ecosystem.

DEMO Fall 2010 may be done, but innovators never stop. Incredibly, we already have a handful of applications in to present at DEMO Spring 2011. And I’m about to take off for Taiwan as part of my new tour to recruit the world’s very best startups and established tech players to unveil new products at the next DEMO: DEMO Spring 2011, which returns to Palm Desert, Calif. from February 27 to March 1. Mark your calendars. Heck, book your plane tickets!

If entrepreneurs are already thinking about the next DEMO, you should be, too. So we’re making it easy to be a part of DEMO Spring 2011. Email me at with the subject line “DEMO,” and you’ll receive a special discount code for registration. While you’re at it, tell me what you think the next big trends for technology will be.

You see, that’s my big project for the next six months: finding the new touchstones guiding innovation. This year, I told DEMO attendees that mobile, social, and the cloud are what’s pushing technology forward. But innovation moves fast. As soon as we’ve mastered those fields, things will shift again. In the tech world, February is a long time away. As we identify emerging technologies that create new opportunities for investment, you’ll read about them here daily on VentureBeat and then see them crystallized on stage at DEMO Spring 2011.

As my colleague Owen Thomas noted, the event had a more serious, work-focused vibe than ever because it was held where so many dealmakers and investors live and work. DEMO in Palm Desert has more of a startup-camp feel — Owen likes to call it “Burning Man for grownups.” What he means by that: Instead of people blowing up art cars, you have entrepreneurs setting billion-dollar industries aflame. It’s a totally different kind of creative destruction.

Palm Desert is an easy drive from Los Angeles, so we definitely plan to make Hollywood part of the community for the next DEMO. The entertainment business is ripe for reinvention, and we’ve got the opportunity to hear directly from established players as well as innovators on how they’re handling Tinseltown’s seismic shifts. And the media world is just the beginning: We’ll have more great speakers, like SAP’s Bill McDermott, Jack Dorsey from Square and Twitter, Jeff Weiner from LinkedIn, GNN and Ofoto founder Lisa Gansky, Starcom MediaVest’s Sean Finnegan, and Groupon’s Andrew Mason.

Want to speak at the next DEMO? Drop me an email with the subject line “DEMO Speaker.” We’re already looking for the best of the best to advise our audience on what’s next in technology. DEMO Fall 2010 may be over, but the DEMO community keeps moving. See you in Palm Desert.

Photo by Stephen Brashear/New Media Synergy for the DEMO Conference


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