SNW (And other conferences) Want and Need You!

February 1, 2009 – 1:09 pm
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Not to worry, its not yet time for phrases such as “Ask not what a conference can do for you, ask what you can do for a conference…”, at least I hope until some clever marketer tries that theme to stimulate conference participation short of an IT conference bailout package.

Uncle Conference wants you!

Conferences Want and Need You

Last week I received as did many other IT industry analyst, bloggers, consultants, media and press an invitation to apply and be considered for free admission (they waive the $1,000+ registration fee) to attend and cover the upcoming Computerworld/IDG and SNIA co-produced Storage Networking World (SNW) event in Orlando April 2009. Ok, nothing out of the ordinary here, as there are several events that do the same thing where you are sent out an invite to apply and attend and if accepted to attend, your registration fee is waived. Meanwhile other venues simply send you the pre-accepted invite and thanks for prior participating forgoing the whole apply, register and be accepted game.

What I find interesting here is that out of all the usual conference, expos, seminars and so forth that I get invited to attend, or to keynote and speak at, two stood out this past week. Those being SNW and the other being upstart The Business Development (BD) Event to be held in Boston in June 2009. Big vendor centric shows like EMCworld and VMworld among others will probably continue albeit with some fine tuning. While some vendors are cutting back or postponing their customer, or media and analyst events, as well as some of the large mega analyst firms like Gartner among others are cutting back or canceling their conferences due to tough economic times, events like the TechTarget Storage Decisions which are IT customer/user focused events are being fine tuned to be more effective as well as taking the message to the people who are under travel and time restrictions via custom local events and seminars.

Likewise, traditional big industry vertical shows like SNW are having to get more aggressive to get both their paying customers (e.g. vendor sponsors, media sponsors, people who pay the registration fee) to show up and participate as well as to get the industry analysts, bloggers, consultants, media and press to show up and cover the event. I’m guessing Jon Toigo over at Drunkendata must be salivating given some of his past posts that SNW is issuing announcements on MSNBC and other venues via Marketwire inviting industry media and analyst to attend the spring SNW. I wonder if Jon Toigo will be issuing similar announcements to all industry media and analyst or if his upcoming C4 conference in May will be an exclusive and by invitation only event?

In the face of all of these changes, there’s also a new upstart event for business development and networking amongst vendors, vars, press, media, analyst, customers, consultants and others, something that SNW used to be known for the storage industry as the place to go. In June 2009, a new event, "The BD Event" will be held in Boston with a simple value proposition, avoid the high costs and restrictions of some other venues, for a relatively small fee to basically cover cost, show up and meet and do some business.

What does this all mean and what will I be doing in 2009 regarding industry activities, seminars, shows, conferences and events?

I’m pleased to announce (don’t worry, I wont be issuing a press release as I did that this past week for my new book) that I have been accepted to attend SNW in Orlando, now I need to decide if I’m actually going to attend or not. I may end up doing what I did last fall which is fly in for a day for some meetings and tie into some other activities in the area.

I like the theme of the BD event in June and have it penciled in however have not committed with the Duplessie’s yet. Storage Decisions will be on the calendar as its a great place for meeting with and hearing what’s on the mind of the IT professionals as opposed to hearing it second or third hand from others. As for other venues and events, there will be more posted on the StorageIO events page through out the year.

Ok, nuff said for now

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press, 2011), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press, 2009), and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier, 2004)

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