I personally would prefer to get together in person, but it is MUCH more cost effective for attendees and for Appeon to hold a virtual conference. I'd like Appeon to be able to direct money and personnel to improving and enhancing their products, and the costs of conducting a live, in-person conference have to be substantially more than conducting a virtual one.
I was going to present a session (my first) at this year's Elevate, but ill-timed health issues prevented me from meeting the deadlines. Deciding on a session topic was difficult - I had/have several ideas, but deciding in a vacuum, without the opportunity to get input from the Appeon Community, reduced the decision to a guess. I'd like to start preparations now for a session for next year, as Mike mentioned, but I'm still going to be making the session topic decision in a vacuum. I think it would a great addition to the Community to have the ability to conduct chats and discussions in addition to this Q&A area. People would have the ability to either suggest Elevate session topic ideas or provide feedback on proposed session topics. I'm confident there would be other benefits to having a public chat/discussion forum.
Having now gone through parts of the Elevate session proposal, approval and preparations process, I'll admit to having been a little overwhelmed, ostensibly due to the unknowns. It would behoove Appeon to more openly communicate the process and the steps involved in producing an Elevate session. Even though Mike was (partly?) joking, I would welcome tips and techniques from experienced Elevate veterans.
Like you, Kevin, I look forward to sessions that show examples of what others are doing. Maybe it's a stretch for most people to fill a minimum 30-minute session with a "show-and-tell"? Perhaps having a multiple-presenter session where each one has say, 10-15 minutes to demonstrate a technique or UI would make it easier for potential presenters to sign up.
Thanks for bringing up the subject!
Even doing a top x favorite new PB X (17/19/21/22 R2/3) features *in action* IS a topic. Appeon sometimes asks for presenters to do just that. With new releases every 6 months you will never run out of material if you have time to play with new releases.
As far as suggestions for new and novice presenters, I'd say get VERY familiar with the video software. Get good at pausing when you feel you might be getting "tongue tied", as well as editing to cut out where you may have made a mistake instead of deleting the whole video or section of the video. I usually do a section of video for each slide or 2 at most and Appeon pieces together my video segments.
@Mike - yes demoing new features could definitely be a topic every year (for only 1 person). This year I just gave a quick mention of the "Jump" feature and tabbed window in my presentation.