IBM Connect 2013 – An overview and my takeaways

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Been home in Stockholm for a little more than three weeks after the buzzing IBM Connect 2013, I thought I would give you an overview of the conference, from an Infoware Exhibitor’s point of view. Here we go!

Pre-conference – at home

We have quite a long start-up period before going to a conference like this. Everything has to be set, planned and thought of. Which customers shall we meet? How many t-shirts shall we bring as giveaways? How many customers will attend our yearly dinner at Texas de Brazil on Saturday evening? As exhibitors, will we manage to promote our new product in a way we think is satisfying? Will our booth #C26 be the busiest in all the exhibitor area (the Solution Showcase)? It is safe to say we have a full-written agenda the weeks before leaving Stockholm.

Pre-conference – again but this time on site

Our part of the conference starts on Saturday evening when we have our annual dinner party with the Infoware family of close friends and customers at the Brazilian Steakhouse Texas de Brazil. We had a great evening with lots of laughs. This is an outstanding way to start-up the conference week and set the mood for the fantastic week ahead.

Sunday! It is in a way a day before the actual conference begins, and for some attendees a slow start-up day. But for us, exhibitors and IBM Business Partners, it is nothing as such. Sunday is on one hand Business Partner Day with sessions and lunch. But almost more important, setting up our exhibitor booth and preparing, rehearsing, perfecting our material before action begins the same evening. For a first time ever the schedule has changed so that we begin with a Solution Showcase Welcome Reception before the annual Beach Party. So after a long day of preparing, we opened our booth with high expectations. We were not disappointed! All three of us had a busy two hours of interesting discussions with old and new acquaintances. We now got the feeling that stayed with us the whole conference week: we are right on target! Our product DomainPatrol Social for IBM Connections is spot on in terms of Social Business and it for sure meets the expectations from the visitors in our booth.

After the evening start in solution showcase the Welcome Reception finished up on the beach between the both hotels Swan and Dolphin with dinner and entertainment. The Disney Magic took its effect on the 6.000 attendees and we all felt like a big family.

Welcome Reception at IBM Connect

Welcome Reception and Beach Party

Our busy booth at IBM Connect 2013

Probably the busiest booth at IBM Connect 2013

Solutions Showcase IBM Connect 2013

Preparing the booth for tonights opening

The conference

Monday. And the real action is about to begin. For us it means early morning start, sugar loaded breakfast (although, my colleagues complained a bit, and chose a more healthier alternative), talk to as many attendees as possible, giving demos of our new product DomainPatrol Social and explain how it can help businesses thrive and evolve their social intranet. Also giving out t-shirts with our cute ninja and the message ”certified to kick ass”, swapping business cards with new and old customers, meeting friends, and much more. All in all, the solutions showcase was more crowded than previous years and our booth felt like the most crowded!

Monday evening means Business Partner Reception. Finger fooding with attendees from all the other business partners at the conference is a great way to round of a long day.

Kick Ass Ninja t-shirt

Kick Ass Ninja t-shirt

Breakfast att IBM Connect 2013

Sugar loaded breakfast – prepare for a long day

Dolphin Conference Hotel

Dolphin Conference Hotel at Disney

Tuesday and Wednesday is two whole days in the booth as well. Same procedure as Monday. Early start and be on top and alert at all times. Lots of discussions with other exhibitors, customers, IBM representatives and partners. Tuesday evening we all know what to do, it is time for IBM Nordic Dinner at Downtown Disney. We were approximately 250 attendees from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Island. Crowded and fun!

Wednesday evening you don’t want to miss. This year’s IBM Connect 2013 Party was held at Universal Studios Orlando. Feel free to eat, drink, go a on a roller coaster or any other of the rides. Our group went straight ahead to the roller coaster Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit! No queues, just go! I can’t tell you enough how we enjoyed it. It is a special feeling wandering around a big amusement park with only conference attendees who simply have one thing in mind: to have fun. 🙂

Demoing our product

Fredrik is doing demos of our product

Early morning start

Early morning start

Roller Coaster

The roller coaster Rockit at Universal

After a fantastic week we went home, totally exahusted and very happy. We always do our best so that these kind of events will be rewarding, learning and profitable for us and our customers, and this year was no exception. We now have a substantial work load with follow-ups and plans ahead.

And, the sun did shine on us non-stop. Disney did in fact make our week magic, and because of that we cannot wait until IBM Connect 2014. 🙂

Thank’s for reading! If you have any questions about the conference or one of the seminars, or our products, please comment below, email us at info@infoware.se or go to www.infoware.com

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