Environment: DEMOfall 2006, my favorite product launch conference, due to tremendous company selection and hosting by Chris Shipley.
Caveats: To be consistent with last year's count, I again
made the count based on the attendee list. And again, I didn't count
anyone, male OR female, from the list that
was clearly third-party conference support (e.g., PR consultants.) 25
names total culled from the count due to this call. And I
had to make best guess on about a dozen very international first names.
Women at DEMOfall 2006: 18.28%
I've officially been counting the XXs for one year - the first public count that I provided was for DEMOfall 2005. This means that I can finally compare apples to apples - same conference organizers, similar event marketing, consistent target group, etc. - and start to look for trends in the demographics. (Mmmm, data!) In 2005, 14.67% of the DEMOfall attendees were women. Regardless of what small error rate there may be in my methods, the 24.6% increase in the ratio of women attending is noticeable. I have no idea if this is due to any specific effort of IDG or Guidewire Group staff, if this is indicative of other trends in emerging companies, or (hopefully not) if this is just a data anomoly....though I do know that it was a pleasant surprise.