Blogger sneak peak: Watching the awards judging

One of the blogger perks we received was the ability to tag along while the judging panels went around and got their demos from the finalists in the competition. There were two awards being judged: CTO Award and Best of Show. We could tag along with either, so I followed the Best of Show judging panel.

I’ve been a Lotus Awards judge for the past two years, so I know how the normal judging goes, but I never really knew how they picked the Best of Show and CTO Awards. So it was cool to see, and it’s actually very simple.

Basically they went to pedestal for each nominee, and that nominee was given 15 minutes to explain their product and it’s value-add. Then the judges got to ask questions for another 5 minutes, and then there was another couple minutes for wrap-up. So it was show your product, tell us why it’s good for the customer, why it’s good for IBM Lotus, and how it integrates and uses the IBM Lotus product portfolio.

In my opinion the best presentations were the ones who focused mainly on demos and talking. A couple slides to outline stuff was okay, but there was one presentation in particular that was about 10-12 minutes of densely populated Powerpoint slides. I twittered that it was Death by Powerpoint, and I can imagine that this company didn’t do well in the judging. I could be wrong, but the judges did seem detached during that presentation.

I had to leave before the final judges tallies, but I don’t think we would have been able to watch the judges finalize their choices anyway. I’m pretty sure that was a behind closed doors type thing. I’ll be interested to see the outcome and see if it mimics my thoughts on which presentations were the best. We shall find out tomorrow!