What’s an Independent Conference?
By Tami Carter, Portfolio Manager | Cloud & Enterprise Technology
Working only a few blocks from Moscone center in San Francisco, I get the chance to attend a lot of tech conferences. Last week I went to the AWS Summit. Like most of the 10K+ attendees, I was curious to learn what new products and services AWS would announce and talk with some enterprise IT folks about how their jobs have changed in the past few years-- what they think is on the horizon, now that we’re “post-cloud”. What I didn’t expect was to not only explain the value of independent conferences, but to explain what they are.
It’s no secret that a ton of conferences in the enterprise IT space are produced by the vendors themselves. AWS Re:Invent, CiscoLive and VMWorld probably come to mind, along with hundreds of others. The vendor shows are so prevalent that I shouldn’t have been surprised by this exchange:
Vendor Salesperson: So, what do you do?Me: I’m the producer for a series of conferences for enterprise IT folks.Vendor: Oh event marketing! What companies do you produce conferences for?Me: Um. No. My conferences are independent.Vendor (Looking puzzled): What’s an independent conference?
I’ll spare you the rest of the conversation. Suffice it to say, this gentleman, and a few of his peers at the booth, had never attended an independent conference. He thought immediately of events like the one we were at. And while there’s no doubt that companies like AWS create conferences that feature high quality education and impressive speakers, their ultimate goal is to cultivate customers, and they build their programs around the company’s point of view and products.
To avoid being disrupted, organizations today must understand the entire landscape, not just the island of one vendor’s offerings and perspective. I’d believed this when I joined Informa last August to launch SDxE (Software Defined “everything” Enterprise), our new conference covering digital transformation from an enterprise IT perspective. But after my conversations at AWS Summit, my belief became fact. The industry needs an independent conference where the entire community can get the unvarnished take on the technology and trends transforming enterprise IT. A conference like SDxE.
Want to get involved? Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.