So, now I am a marketing guy??

Raymond posts a good (meaning blunt) entry on his session at PDC2005

            Today I got to see Marketing’s handiwork again, as they edited my talk description.


Well, I did push to to make the change in the title to include Raymond’s name.


This is the 2nd time in a month I have been accused of being a marketing guy… I am not, I will have you know I still know how to code… In fact I coded something up just today 😉  .  But John, would you have job for me if I ever did forget how to code 😉


At any rate, I pushed to have two sessions at the PDC include names in the titles: Raymond’s and Anders Hejlsberg.  I did this because we decided not to post speaker information yet and I wanted the session preference survey to be as accurate as possible (this survey helps us put sessions in the right sized rooms).  My intention was to have the title changed to remove Raymond’s name once the speaker names are posted.  BTW – I did not butcher his abstract, that would be a real marketing guy…


My theory is that it maters to attendees who gives a sessions.  If John Doe is talking about Five(ish) things every Win32 developer should know (but likely doesn’t) you may not go… but if you are one of the many people that follow Raymond’s blog, you know him.. you know he is smart, funny and an excellent communicator… You are likely not to miss it.  


Do you agree?  Does having the speaker name influence your decision to attend this session?  Is anyone going to come just because it is Raymond?  Is anyone not going to come for the same reason?  I’d love to hear from you!


Comments (27)

  1. zzz says:

    People reading his blog would have remembered from the title that it was a subject on the blog.

  2. Dean Harding says:

    Well, I don’t know if that’s universally true. I knew Raymond was giving a talk, but I don’t know that I would have remembered the title of the talk if I just saw a list of titles.

    I think the identity of the presenter would influence me in deciding which talks to see and which not to see. I mean, technology is great and all, but the *way* it’s presented can make all the difference, and that’s always a personal thing. Too bad I can’t get to PDC ’05 either way 😉

    Raymond’s just afraid of the paparazzi 🙂

  3. John Walker says:

    Absolutely, the name of the speaker would influence my decision as to attend or not.

  4. Kevin Daly says:

    Some material will stand on its own (although if the speaker is someone you know from past experience to be lousy it’s nice to be forewarned).

    In other cases knowing that a session is going to be given by someone you know to be particularly knowledgeable and a good speaker can be useful information that influences the decision to attend – this is especially true of the PDC, where it’s impossible to attend everything you might want to.

  5. Dean Harding says:

    By the way, while I might agree putting his name in the title is no bad thing, the loss of the qualifier "and how it happens without your knowledge" is a bigger deal…

  6. Mike Walsh Helsinki says:

    There are a few names that sell presentations (I’m thinking Steve Reilly and Jens Johansson – spelling possibly incorrect for either/both) but otherwise I only avoid the ones with names that is likely to mean they have heavy accents (German / French …) when speaking English.

    Whether therefore adding the name encourages people to go to the session is therefore usually questionable. In my case faced with a German or French name I probably wouldn’t go with with no name I might !

  7. Jim Holmes says:

    +1 to having names associated with presentations. There are a number of names I would specifically look for at any large event.

  8. Darrell says:

    Since all information is relatively the same (I mean, it’s WINDOWS here people), having quality speakers always makes or breaks a presentation. How many reviews of TechEd sessions looked basically like this, "Great content, poor presentation"?

  9. MonkeyKoder says:

    Of course, the speaker absolutely matters — it’s a presentation, how could it not? And given Raymond’s blog readership I would definitely think people would want to know he was giving that particular talk …

  10. Sam Gentile says:

    It depends-) Some material, like any on Architecture/SOA/Indigo/VSTS/CLR stands on its own for me. Then there are certain Microsoft speakers I would go see them say anything (i.e. Anders).

  11. craigber says:

    I speak at a couple of conferences a year and often times attend other sessions just to hear the speaker. So, knowing who the speaker is can make a difference.

  12. JP says:

    Oh yes! Knowing who the speaker is is absolutely going to influence whether I attend the presentation or not. I’m going to attend the PDC and WILL attend Raymond’s talk no matter what.

    No, i’m not a stalker – I (like others) really think he’s that good.

  13. Brad Abrams seems to want a job. I do have openings, but they’re going fast.

  14. Brad Abrams seems to want a job. I do have openings, but they’re going fast.

  15. Ron Krauter says:

    Yes, it is a big deal to me who the speaker is.

  16. Ned says:

    Speaker matters. I would not attend most ‘tips and tricks’ talks because I don’t know how deep a well the speaker is drawing from. I know from Raymond’s blog that he has a lot of rope…

  17. Brad Abrams seems to want a job. I do have openings, but they’re going fast.

  18. Recently Paul Vick noticed that his name was not baked into his PDC session title like some other notables……

  19. yes it matters.

    Not that i’m going to PDC :-(, but it does matter. For example, in this year Teched i wouldn’t go to some session i went, because the title was not very appealling, but since i knew the speakers from their blogs i knew the presentations would be worth my time.