Team VentureBeat is still recovering from DEMO Spring 2011, the product-launch conference we co-produced in Palm Desert, Calif. this week. From Sunday afternoon into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, we went nonstop.

As exciting as it is to tell the story of innovation unfolding, it’s even more of a rush for the companies presenting at the conference. They have a lot at stake — the months or even years of development, the harrowing selection process overseen by DEMO executive producer and VentureBeat editor-in-chief Matt Marshall, the fee if they’re selected, and the time it takes to get out to the desert. It all came together at the JW Marriott Desert Springs, the site of the conference.

You name it, DEMO Spring 2011 had it — and we covered it. Life-saving altitude simulatorsInstant market research, just add InternetA real reason for the mailman to go postal.

You’ve read our blow-by-blow coverage of the launches and the winners of the prestigious DEMOgod award and the $1 million grand prize. But as Marshall said as he kicked off DEMO Spring 2011, this promised to be the most social DEMO ever — from the wired-in startups taking advantage of new social technologies to the nonstop networking and parties on site. After the action on stage, it was the lobbies, the bars, the restaurants and the nightclubs where the DEMO community created real value. I couldn’t cross a room, it seemed, without hearing about some new funding coming through.

All work and no play? Hardly. As DEMO’s self-appointed instigator-in-chief, I made sure people took to the dance floor at the closing party, and the Marriott’s hot tubs were filled to capacity. After we sweated out the angst of the event to Lady Gaga and the Rolling Stones, we soaked it all up under  a starlit sky, with steam roiling off the water, talking about grand plans for the future.

Okay, sometimes that future only went as far as the rest of the night, and how we were going to make our early-morning plane flights home. But in a few hours of sleep, we dreamed of the next DEMO — and the next products to rock our world.

Here’s how the event unfolded in photos.

VentureBeat's Matt Lynley, Matt Marshall, and Owen Thomas at DEMO Spring 2011

VentureBeat’s Matt Lynley, Matt Marshall, and Owen Thomas start the fire at DEMO Spring 2011.

Alcatel-Lucent's Redg Snodgrass explains it all.

DEMO survivor Redg Snodgrass explains it all.

VentureBeat's Christopher Peri and IDG's Neal Silverman

VentureBeat’s Christopher Peri teaches DEMO’s Neal Silverman about the power of the Perivision hat.

Brew PR's Dena Cook, Brooke Hammerling, and Dorothy Jean

Brew PR’s Dena Cook, Brooke Hammerling, and Dorothy Jean celebrate their trifecta of DEMO companies.

Anthony Ha, being awesome

VentureBeat’s Anthony Ha demonstrates his awesomeness.

DEMOvians sing at DEMO After Dark

DEMOvians sing at DEMO After Dark.

More photos via Flickr:

[Photos by Stephen Brashear/New Media Synergy for the DEMO Conference]