Last week was a busy week -- much catch up from being away from my desk during the prior two weeks while attending Atlassian Summit 2010 and Enterprise 2.0 Conference (Boston) , and also a release of our Alfresco to Confluence connector on the Atlassian Plugin Exchange .
Both conferences - exhilarating experiences in alot of ways, albeit really because of the people more than the event sessions themselves.
This statement is not meant to be a criticism of the events - actually quite to the contrary. Both events were very well planned, organized, and had large engaged attendance (in fact Atlassian Summit was sold out 1 month in advance, and stopped counting the waiting list at 200 people over...).
But honestly - it is the people that each event drew in -- top talents of the Atlassian and Enterprise 2.0 industries that made the events so amazing, in my opinion!
Having that much top-tier awesomeness all in one city, let alone single venues, all at the same time, is just a do not miss experience on all levels. Endless exposure in conversation, stories, visions, designs, tricks, insights, examples, and simply inspiration over short periods of time is exhausting, seemingly unrepeatable, and very cherry.
And then comes the streams of blogs, write-ups, opinions, and tweets moving the experiences and knowledge even more. The After-Conference is almost more intense, actually. These are NOT passive conference attendee folks!
Here's just a few notable recap "archival"-like blogs, samplers:
- Bill Ive's Enterprise 2.0 Session Notes - a complete chronology/detailed accounts. Simply incredible!
- Mark Eggleston "Social" Perspective on the Conference - a nice recap on both the social demographics of Enterprise 2.0 Conference, and the resulting content coming out of the conference - while emphasizing the value of BEING THERE too.
- Jim Worth's running "wiki"-log of #e2conf writeups
- and many many more !
Last week, I read so many blog posts released on the event, recaps of experiences, statistics, analysis', and also criticisms - with one that was louder and clearer about Enterprise 2.0 Conference than the rest:
too much vendor positions/sessions at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference.
If I recall a year ago, Atlassian Summit 2009 had the same criticism and I applaud Atlassian for really taking the bull by the horn for this year.
For the 2010 event, alot / most of the sessions were by Atlassian employees/experts, or real-world customer case studies, sharing their knowledge, and really trying to change the conference flavor to be less vendor-centric, to keep the conference enticing though for both vendors and customers at the same time.
For the conference sessions that were dedicated to vendors, Atlassian did a good trick to up the anty (quality) on those sessions. They played the Superbowl "opportunity" angle, as @chrisyeh commented to in Megan Murray's blog about the #e2conf .
Vendors need to follow the Gladiator Principle..."Are you not entertained?"
Just because you've delivered your talking points doesn't mean that you've made an impact. Buying a keynote is like buying a Superbowl commercial--yeah, you've got a big audience, but they're as likely to mock you as support you. Money gets you in front of people, but it's up to you to tell a story worth hearing.
At the Atlassian Summit, the Keynote was presented by Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar - always good presenters (here's their Starter Day presentation ). Directly following was a LaunchPad event that allowed the 13 or so vendor sponsors a chance to show off their stuff, on stage. Here was the non-rules.
Do their SuperBowl commercial, LIVE, if you will.
Following each "ad", the audience was given a couple minutes to SMS/text their vote on the "ad spot", that was calibrated and calculated in real-time on the big-screen so everyone could also see.
Now - I would have thought the vendors would take the word "competition" quite seriously, but maybe they didn't know how they would be judged. Or more, ultimately take the opportunity very seriously - understanding the value of their stagetime and great odds (with only 13) for a chance to win.
Some of the presentations were standout, others were mediocre at best.
Gliffy excited and rousted the audience. It was funny, charming, engaging, and simply - an Atlassian Summit "superbowl" standout. And to boot, they had a blast doing it - sometimes laughing harder than the audience. That is good marketing! Having fun and sharing the fun, with a serious solution!
So, as one pirate said at the end: "There you go Jack!"
Enterprise 2.0 Conference could rip a page off of the Atlassian Summit conference playbook for their LaunchPad, and endless Keynote sessions too!
- Up the anty on those vendor presentations.
- Provide some real-time E2.0 friendly competition!
- Make the vendors earn their stage time, not just subject the audience to it.I know I know - they paid for it. But no, it's more. The attendees paid for their Conference ticket!
- Engage the audience to vote after each event and get into the fun!
As for the mediocre vendor presentations (not to say that all were - others were good too) at Atlassian Summit this year - I think the anty has already been up'd. The LaunchPad event will be a whole new genre I expect next year.
NO ONE will take for granted their stage time I expect. And no one should!