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Poll: Pick a Tech Show, Any Tech Show

June 14, 2016

Tech conferences serve as a conduit to show off your innovation, reconnect with former colleagues as well as meet new ones and promote your business. A massive room, organized in neat rows that stretch for as far as the eye can see. Sessions running nearly all day, with a break for lunch and back to peruse the hall or attend more sessions, and maybe the day ends with a special performance from a celebrity for a little “wow” factor or a party of sorts. The above is standard practice, but much of the glitz and glamour at tech conferences is not coming from the shock and awe of the special guest performer. It comes in the form of the relationships built and lessons learned.

Those of us in tech know that today there are a countless number of shows that take place annually, ranging from consumer to enterprise, the data center and the Internet of Things – and more. And, as regular visitors to the Transforming Network Infrastructure Community we value your opinion. Last month we asked our readers, “If you had to select only one trade show or conference that you could attend annually, what would you choose?”, and without further a due let’s dig into the results.

Of the three options, the top selection was independent shows like ITEXPO, Interop, OFC, etc., garnering more than half of the votes. An Independent event will offer a bias-free, more open look at what’s going on in the space. For instance, a show like ITEXPO has vendors from the data center space, communications and more. Hundreds of vendors from around the world gather to gain a front row seat to transformative technology.

Earning 25 percent of respondents, Vendor sponsored events like VMworld and Cisco Live came in second. Cisco Live is designed for IT professionals worldwide and provides five days of education, training and network while having the ability to work with Cisco products. The reason I find it surprising this selection placed second is VMworld. This year’s event marks the first since the Dell acquired EMC and VMware, and one would think it would serve to illustrate the direction the firm is headed – inquiring minds have questions.

Industry analyst run events placed third, slightly behind vendor sponsored events with 20 percent of respondent support. Gartner, IDC and EFM run a number of events annually, with each offering attendees a different flavor. For instance, Gartner’s Data Center Infrastructure & Operations Management Conference is aimed at aiding the implementation of ultra-agile, scalable and responsive infrastructures by leveraging SDN, the cloud, virtualization and other burgeoning areas of development. EFM’s IT symposiums tend to be structured more so around networking while learning about the bleeding edge of tech from an independent and objective perspective.

 Regardless of what show you decide, remember the technology is the spotlight. Whether you are locked into a vendor ecosystem or piecing together your own deployment, tech conferences showcase what’s next. It doesn’t matter if you are hearing what’s hot from an industry analyst or walk a packed show floor; education, networking and trends should be on the top of the to-do list. At the end of the day this is not as simple as right answer, wrong answer. For industry vets you know which shows butter your bread, and for up-and-comers you’ll learn in short order. Much like choosing technology for your business, tech conferences must be the RIGHT fit for your firm.

BTW: This month’s poll is up! Let your opinion be heard!

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Click here to share your opinion – Would color of equipment influence your purchasing decision, one way or another?

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