A Quick Recap of SIC ’05

The 2005 Shareware Industry Conference, held July 14 – 16, at the Denver Hyatt Tech Center, was a huge success as both a social and business event.

On the social side, thanks to the SIAF for the welcome Reception Wednesday night, including a very spicy dish that required an elevated level of beer consumption. Great food, great beer and a mechanical bull were the features of the Digital River reception Thursday night. Fortunately, no one got hurt this year (unless you count the bull riders’ pride).

Friday noon was the ASP lunch. Attending volunteers were recognized for their service to the association. The fact that all volunteers were not called up and presented with certificates of appreciation at the lunch does not mean that the ASP values your service any less. The lack of a formal presentation was just the result of the number of volunteers that we have active in running the affairs of the ASP these days. “An hour lunch just doesn’t provide enough time to make the presentations”, said Sheila Manning, ASP Volunteer Coordinator.

Numerous door prizes were given out to those in attendance, and a grand prize drawing from among all volunteers (a Western Digital 320 GB USB external hard drive) was won by Brian Rassmusson.

Friday night was exhibit night, with more great food, and an open bar. I know that Fred Clabuesch signed up two new ASP members during exhibit night, and many of our members talked up membership to all that would listen.

Saturday noon, the ESC hosted their annual lunch. According to Rosemary West’s blog at http://educationalsoftware.blogspot.com/ , the highlight of the lunch was their presentation of awards. The People’s Choice award went to Adrian Ternouth of RecallPlus. The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Educational Software went to Kathy Salisbury of Pharos Games.

Saturday night was devoted to the annual SIAF Awards Banquet. The Shareware Industry Awards were conceived to honor the very best products produced using the shareware marketing model. 13 of the 19 winners (68%) are ASP members (shown with an asterix).

Best program/utility for PDAs was awarded to Google Mobile, by Google, Inc.
Best game action/arcade – Astrogeddon, ORT Software Best game – non action/arcade – NoLimits Roller Coaster Simulation, Mad Data
* Best server program/utility – Servers Alive, BVBA Woodstone
* Best web enhancement/utility – HTML Match, Salty Brine Software, Inc.
* Best Internet communications program – Feed For All, NotePage, Inc.
* Best Internet enhancement/utility – FTP Vowager, Rhino Software, Inc.
Best hobby/personal interest – PhotoMiz, fCoder Group, Inc.
* Best educational program or game – Cherokee Trails, Pharos Games Best business application/utility – Black Hole Organizer, Lincoln Beach Software
* Best vertical market program/utility – Help And Manual, EC Software
* Best sound program/utility – Microsoft Media Player, Microsoft Corporation Best utility using .Net – FILEhand Search, Filehand, LLC.
* Best application using .Net – Guitar and Drum Trainer 2, Renegade Minds
* Best photo program/utility – Images in Context!, Liquid Mirror Software
* Best desktop enhancement – Microangelo Creation, Eclipsit Corporation
* Best graphics program/utility – SnagIt, Techsmith
* Best application – UltraEdit, IDM Computer Solutions, Inc.
* Best overall utility – TuneUp Utilities 2004, TuneUp Software GmbH

Of course, the biggest business benefit to be obtained from attendance is the networking with other attendees and the knowledge gained from the presenters and panelists at the sessions. A total of 30 educational sessions were presented, and many commented that the quality of the presentations was better than ever. A highlight of this year’s SIC was the participation of newly returned ASP member, Microsoft Corporation, who sent 4 representatives to the conference. Microsoft presented two sessions on Visual Studio 2005 for Independent Developers and Visual Studio Shareware Starter Kit. Just as important, the Microsoft representatives did a LOT of listening to what the attending developers had to say.

At the conclusion of this year’s SIC, ASP President Jessica Dewell said, “The ASP thanks the SIAF board and volunteers for their tremendous effort in hosting this conference. We were proud to again be one of several sponsors of this year’s event. I’d like to urge our members to make plans to be in Denver, Colorado at the Hyatt TechCenter from July 13-15, 2006 for another exciting Shareware Industry Conference”.