2015 Conference Followup
(Article submitted to the AITP "Information Executive" for national distribution by Chuck Brown)
Lucky Number Seven – AITP-San Diego Chapter’s “Cloud Computing & Beyond”
The seventh annual conference had a broader scope than the prior cloud-oriented events, including additional presentations on technology trends in the areas of Big Data, IoT and Innovative IT. Over 300 attendees gathered on October 29 to hear 25 IT professionals and business leaders (presenters and panelists) discuss key topics and strategies revolving around our IT industry. The conference prides itself on bringing together a community of thought leaders sharing case studies and industry trends in a variety of different industries and organizations. The conference also had a wide variety of sponsors – BMC Software, Century Link, Cox Communications, Scale Matrix, Teradata, Trend Micro and many more. Local associations, including IIBA, PMI, WITI and Connect (a consortium for guiding entrepreneurs and startups) were conference partners. This year’s conference shows our growth as a summit with broader IT industry trends and as a premier event in the region.
The day began with the usual check-in and warm greetings from the conference team and a breakfast spread guaranteed to suit anyone’s taste – from bakery goods, to a fruit selection, and breakfast burritos. The morning keynote address was given by F. Christian Byrnes, Managing VP with the Gartner Group. Mr. Byrnes provided an expanded update of Gartner’s 2013 paper on the evolution of the threat environment through 2020. The newer Gartner analysis focused on how digital business will impact the security practice in the same time frame. The remainder of the morning was consumed by a break for refreshments, visiting the 22 sponsor tables, and attending the first two series of breakout sessions, which included a wide variety of cloud computing presentations, discussion of the Internet of Things, and security topics.
Peter Coffee, VP and Head of Platform Research at SalesForce, delivered the luncheon keynote address. Mr. Coffee focused on “… the surge of 24x7 connection that defined the early 2010s – enabling and driving the disruptions and ‘reconceptions’ that are top-of-the-mind today in business, education, healthcare, government and every other institution of society.” With two sessions down, the afternoon allowed more time for sponsor booth visits and three more sets of breakout sessions, all expanding on topics related to the cloud and beyond. Presenters and panelists from government, business and non-profit organizations shared their plans and experiences with enthusiastic audiences. The conference closing was a “Wrap-up and Raffle Prizes” gathering that allowed for plenty of happy hour networking – and some happy faces for those who took home the prizes.
Offering a one-day professional conference is a major undertaking. The core committee – 12 people – spent the better part of 2015 conceiving, planning, organizing and delivering “Cloud Computing & Beyond” to the San Diego region’s IT and business professionals. Some of the key features of the conference were multimedia promotion (website, email, twitter, LinkedIn, Face Book, press – and human contact), a downloadable conference app, a real-time survey using Survey Monkey (available by email in the last afternoon session), recruiting “day-of volunteers” from the professional and student chapters, and solicitation of major sponsors to fund the event. The team also used #slack for team communications. As this article is being written (the next day), the core team already has survey results to analyze and to use in planning for the 2016 event. In addition, email, LinkedIn and Facebook follow-ups and thank-you posts have already been delivered to the attendees, sponsors – and everyone who worked to make this a successful event.
Chuck Brown, CCP is a 35 year member of the San Diego Chapter and president of the Southwest Region.
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