The Social Connections Conference, which has just completed their 7th conference in 3.5 years, is an impressive effort that you should experience too.
Having been a part of or attended so many conferences over the years I had been unable to get to any of the Social Connections events until this one in Stockholm, Sweden and what makes it so impressive? I have a
- it is run by normal people like you and I, they also have day jobs too
- not run or owned by a specific vendor
- always in a different country
- has a consistent change of audience for each event
- limited number of any vendors people so it truly is customer filled
- sponsors that are known and appreciated by the audience
- sponsors get to do speed sponsoring and a speaking session
- great speakers and thinkers present both technical and business sessions
- some cool event venues for dinner
- some extremely social interactions of digital and in person kinds
- All sessions were streamed and recorded for later usage
- beer, as in free beer
OK the last one is available most events, but it is a serious part of connecting with people. I even had a Moo card made that said Collaborate Better with Beer.
While I did spend quite a bit of time on some client work, I also got to spend time with many friends I rarely get to see in person, some I have never met in person, and some I only heard about through others. The connections I made, and the few companies I discussed how I can help them with training and adoption was worth the price of their admission and my efforts.
The team had asked everyone to pay a nominal amount to ensure fewer no shows and it worked as they announced they had 100% attendance! Long may they have that record now.
While the majority of the attendees are using IBM products, like IBM Connections, IBM Domino, IBM Notes, IBM Sametime there were some people who also used other products and were equally interested in what works and does not work when discussing adoption.
I can't speak for the technical sessions (I did not attend any) but the business side was heavily based on the do's and don'ts for adoption, customer cases both great and tragic, hurdles of jumping from email to an ESN(see my bridge slide) and even an Ask IBM session with prizes given to the best questions and/or most challenging ones that received a "we don't know" answer.
As a surprise to everyone, the next event they run was announced and it will not be in Europe!
It will be in Boston, Massachusetts in the US, April 16-17, 2015.
I hope to see you there!