Remembering the Top Moments of SDC from Years Past
It's almost time again for the Samsung Developer Conference (aka SDC). After a few years of limited travel, virtual-only events, and nasal swabs, we're excited to get back to a live event, if only for one day.
As you may have seen on this site and in our social media accounts, SDC is scheduled for October 12, at the Moscone Conference Center in San Francisco. The keynote address and technical sessions from the live event will be streamed via YouTube, and there will be additional virtual content available to view beginning October 13, on the conference web site.
SDC is a special time for us at the Samsung Developers team worldwide. Internally, we have members in many countries: South Korea, Philippines, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Brazil, Poland, Bangladesh, and the United States. We're all excited to come together each year to bring useful and informative content to you. We enjoy planning and staging the event each year and we all have great memories. In this post, we'll share some of our favorite experiences with you.
Behind the Scenes
We understand the boring details behind the scenes isn't as exciting to most, but for our events team, the challenge of planning and pulling off a major event is a thrill.
Most years, planning for SDC begins almost the moment the previous event is completed. The planners begin executing contracts with the venue, caterers, and the experiential vendor that handles all the small details. They meet weekly on a conference call, usually in the evenings for those in the US to talk with our counterparts in South Korea.
As the months move along, the teams secure contractors with audio-visual teams to run the massive wall of displays on the keynote stage, as well as the cameras in the rooms where sessions are held. We look through dozens of clothing catalogs to find apparel for attendees as well as employees.
During these times, we plan out the social media notices, come up with topics for blog posts, and design the email campaigns that go out to hundreds of thousands of developers. We discuss the colors of signs in great detail to make sure each shade is exactly the right color. We talk to the technical teams to understand which new tech is ready for developers to use. We track down guest speakers from other companies to show how Samsung works with so many partners.
As the months go by, we're working more and more on SDC tasks. A few days prior to showtime, you will see many of our team on-site at the venue, setting up demo stations, wiping down counters, and making sure everything is "just right," so that you're amazed the moment you walk through those doors.
Best of Galaxy Store Awards
Beginning in 2018, the Samsung Developers team started the Best of Galaxy Store Awards program as a way to show our appreciation for those developers and designers who bring their products to Galaxy Store. Some of the top names in the world of gaming, productivity, and social media have received the awards. To name a few:
- Riot Games' League of Legends: Wild Rift (2021 Best Strategy Game)
- Epic Games' Fortnite (2020 Game of the Year)
- Spotify (2020 Bixby Capsule of the Year)
- Gameloft Asphalt 9 (2019 Best Racing Game)
- TikTok (2019 Best Social App)
- Disney Heroes (2018 Best Game)
For a full list of Samsung Best of Galaxy Store Awards winners, click here.
Before and After Hours
SDC isn't just all business though—the organizers and attendees also love to have fun. Before the keynote, attendees could join groups stretching and going for a run through the city streets. Others opted for calm and quiet with yoga at the expo hall stage.
A tech conference wouldn't be complete without an after-hours party and SDC is no different. In 2014, the SDC crowd went to San Francisco's famed Exploratorium, where they experimented with science projects among tables of excellent food and drinks. Attendees in 2016 experienced the beautiful Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. In 2017, attendees walked virtually through a murder mystery with Samsung Gear VR headsets.
The 2019 SDC brought more excitement to the after-hours party. As the event was held at the end of October, the theme was "Day of the Dev," playing on the name of the holiday celebrated in November. A VR-powered interactive journey led players through a spooky experience, while Halloween-themed goodies were available throughout the expo hall. A foggy mist permeated the place, while characters from the VR journey appeared in real life to the delight of the crowd.
No matter your interests, if you're into tech, SDC probably has a topic that will pique your curiosity. Whether you are into mobile design, voice control, smart devices, enterprise security, streaming media, or a good old-fashioned shoot-em-up game, you will find plenty of technical sessions to satisfy your need to know more.
After you've taken in the experts' ideas in the technical sessions, you can start building your own ideas on Samsung's platforms in the Code Lab area of the expo hall. At the Code Lab, you can talk with the actual developers of many of Samsung's best products and learn from them. This interactive experience is also available to anyone at any time on the Samsung Developers web site.
Keynote and Spotlight Session
The Keynote presentation is always the subject of great speculation on the Internet for days prior to SDC. Samsung Electronics President and CEO DJ Koh is a favorite each year. Do you remember the 2018 SDC at Moscone West, when Senior Vice President Justin Denison walked on stage to present the Galaxy Fold, the first foldable mobile device? That is one of many exciting moments on the first day of the event.
The SDC Keynote includes other memorable moments, such as the announcement of One UI, which brought a sensible and consistent design ethos to Samsung mobile and wearable devices. Bixby CTO Adam Cheyer used his time on stage to show the power of AI, while also amazing and amusing the audience with his sleight-of-hand.
The second day starts off with the Spotlight Session. The Spotlight Session is where Samsung focuses on companies making a successful partnership with Samsung platforms and products. Compared to the flash and excitement of the Keynote, the Spotlight Session is where executives and developers share their experiences with their peers.
Some of the more memorable moments of the Spotlight Sessions include hosting a fireside chat of games and how to monetize them on mobile platforms. This session included Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney and Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke. Another memorable Spotlight Session brought Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin to the stage with Samsung's John Jun to talk about the possibilities of blockchain for mobile devices.
One final memory of the SDC Spotlight Session that's special to those of us on the Samsung Developers team, aside from putting all this together for you, was from 2018. The week before the event, one of the teams' members proposed to use the Note9 with S Pen to take a photo on stage and send the photo to Twitter. In three days, they had the prototype working and tested. The team convinced VP Yoon Lee to perform this live demo on stage to close the event. As you can see below, the demo worked flawlessly.
After SDC is finished, the Samsung Developers team is there to put everything away. Demo machines are disassembled and our booth is sent to the warehouse. We pack up leftover T-shirts and make sure we left the venue cleaner than we found it. After that, we have a well-earned party for ourselves and a good night's sleep.
Thank you for reading through our memories of SDC events in the past. Please join us online, October 12, 2022, at 10 AM PT, for the next Samsung Developer Conference keynote.