Once again the Techtarget (TT) folks put on a great event at the spring 2008 edition of Storage Decisions (SD) event in Chicago, tip of the hat to the whole TT crew. SD is known as an IT consumer/user event as opposed to industry events like SNW that are known as a vendor to vendor networking event. TT has added a new form over the past year that occurs the day/night before SD focused on the channel and var audiences with a dinner networking seminar called StorageStrategies. While SD continues to be focused on the IT consumer aka user, the TT channel program is a means for vendors to get in front of perspective channel partners to tell their story and value proposition of why they should be partnered. It’s a fun and growing event that I have been involved with for over a year now talking with the channel folks about issues and opportunities to address the various needs IT organizations. If you are a vendor looking to expand your channel presence, or, a channel partner var looking for new solutions, technologies and partners, these series are a great way of networking.
The main focus however last week was the SD event which had a great turnout of around 550 IT and storage professionals (not counting vendors, exhibitors, vars, media and analysts). To put the attendance in perspective compared to other events. I guess you could virtualizes the attendance of IT folks at about 65,431 however the reality number quoted by TT and observed (during the sessions, lunch and so forth) was in the mid 500’s (not including vendors, exhibitors, vars, media, analysts, hotel personal, stumping politicians, high school marching bands, tour groups and the homeless). Talking with vendors and exhibitors, the census was that they were either getting a boat load of good leads, or, getting actual appointments and meetings for near term opportunities that might help their sales reps win or buy a new boat, car, home, or cup of coffee.
Having been both a customer and a vendor before becoming an analyst years ago, it’s fun to walk the exhibit area listening and watching the different approaches and pitches by the booth personal. Some are focused on just getting leads, some on showing you’re their demo, some on how well they memorized their buzzword laden sales pitch, some can even give you their elevator value prop pitch in less than 30 seconds to get you to stay for another five minutes prompting a rescheduling to give them another 20 minutes of time. I’m still waiting for some vendor to bring in the carnival midway skills game where participants use a water gun or other item to know that particular vendors competitors logo on a target down, or, to knock down various IT issues.
In between all my meetings, presentations, recording some new video techtalks (Data footprint reduction, hot topics for the channel, clustered storage and NAS for SMBs) and other activity at the recent Storage Decisions event in Chicago this past week, I was able to meet up with some friends and former co-workers for a relaxing dinner at Buddy Guy’s Legends across the street from the event hotel. Performing on stage was Vino Louden who plays the guitar with the sole and feeling of Stevie Ray Vaughn and creative flare of Jimmy Page backed by his three man band. If you have never been to Legends you still have time to go there as the joint is staying open until their new facility is ready.
As soon as TechTarget posts the links to the session presentations including my talks on “Clustered Storage and NAS” that included Web 2.0 and bulk storage as well as my talk about “Green and Energy Efficient Storage” I will post them on this blog.