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D&D Marketplace Session

At the 2008 NCDD conference in Austin, from 4:00 to 5:00 pm on the first day, we held a plenary session we called the “D&D Marketplace.” Similar to a poster session, the Marketplace provided a way for 20 or so presenters to introduce their work and their ideas to the majority of conference participants. Here’s how this high-energy session worked…

Conference planners selected people to present during the D&D Marketplace who are passionate about sharing tools, concepts, and success stories. During the session, these presenters striked up conversations with participants who strolled around the room, perusing the wares. No timers or buzzers were involved.

Presenters displayed “posters” during the Marketplace (more on this below) and provided handouts for participants. They also prepared succinct “spiels” about their method, topic, case or resource so attendees could quickly learn the basics and follow up with whatever questions they had.

During the D&D Marketplace, the round conference tables were removed from the ballroom so people had room to move about.  Marketplace presenters were stationed throughout the room, standing at small cocktail table where they displayed information and handouts. Every Marketplace presenter was provided with a sign with their topic printed on it. Those who prepared posters were also provided with tabletop easels.

During this 90-minute session, conference participants strolled around the ballroom, looking over posters, picking up resources, and talking with Marketplace presenters.

Are you presenting in the Marketplace?  Here’s what you’ll need to prepare…

  • A quick spiel or “elevator speech” about your case, program, tool, etc. that will get people interested in learning more. Practice it until it comes out naturally!  We suggest you prepare several spiels of different lengths (30 seconds, 1 minute, etc.).
  • Handouts about your program, tool, case, event, etc. that include further details.  Include your contact information and web address on your handouts, or also provide a stack of your business cards.
  • And if you are presenting a poster, you will need to prepare a visually interesting poster.  See specs and suggestions for posters below.

About the Posters…

D&D Marketplace presenters were invited to also prepare posters, which were displayed at their Marketplace table and then moved to a prominent location near the main ballroom for the rest of the three-day conference.

Posters are a great way to introduce a large percentage of conference participants to your work or your idea. A workshop about a method, resource or program people aren’t familiar with may attract only a few people, while a poster on something new and innovative is likely to be seen by the majority of attendees.

Your poster may consist of one large sheet of paper, or you can tack up multiple sheets of smaller paper. Your poster should take people through a process, program, concept or story. The type is large and wording is simple, and diagrams and pictures bring the poster to life. People should be able to quickly discern your message and determine whether they need to read more or move on. Although you will be able to walk people through the story/process/concept depicted on your poster during the marketplace and perhaps at other times as well, the poster should be able to clearly present the concept on its own. Your poster should NOT consist mainly of pasted-up pages of small type!

Up to three co-authors can be named for each poster, and up to three people may present the poster during the D&D Marketplace.

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