Where to start….
I should have done a proper blog after IBM Connect 2016, but its been so busy I did not make time, however a number of the points here that were just supposition at Connect have now been turned into facts.
Theo Heselmans who for all intents and purposes IS Engage, managed to do the impossible and top last years conference, firmly establishing Engage as the best event after Connect, with a huge array of varied content and no subject taboo, all that is required is that the content is GOOD!!, there were a number of times when I really would have liked to be in two places at the same time and that has not happened at a conference in ages.
The venue was the crazy Evoluon in Eindhoven which seemed custom built for such event (if they could get a grip on the wifi)
In a cheeky moment Theo did a backpack give away (because Connect did not this year for the first time)
We went live with LDC Via one year ago at the last Engage so it holds a special place for us, in that year a lot has happened and we have delivered tons more, but we got a lot more attention this year and found that we even have some competition, in this last year we have become established in peoples minds and people realise we offer a great product, all 4 of us were there and did not seem to have a quiet second, as always the speed sponsoring was exhausting and Julian did a great job on the 30 second new speed sponsoring to the whole conference, Matt White was bogged down with cold but still fought his way through the conference and drove us both there and back while at the same time giving his flipping cold to the rest of us.
This years give away “Colin” did sterling work and won the unofficial “best conference give-away” from a number of sources.
We tried a different tack with the sponsor session, showing how many ways you could integrate LDC Via into different frameworks (slide deck below)
Well bugger me… Inhi Cho Suh really impressed us all, from the little we saw of her at Connect (she was only introduced to the community right at the end of the conference) we guessed that she might not only be sane but sane and HUMAN and it turned out that she was!!, far more than we had all dared to hope, no “two tassel talk”1, she had fresh new ideas and had already started acting on them (such as moving Connect to San Francisco in 2017), we had a proper round table event where she dealt well with the hysterical gibbering we blasted her with and left us feeling that it might actually be possible to finally turn things around and start IBM ICS again (somebody pinch me)
On that note being a champion meant something at Engage and made me really think that I must buck my ideas up and start delivering far more.
Sadly I was doing another round of late night work while I was there so missed out on the parties and such (hence no photos), but judging from the state of my fellow LDC Via colleagues, the events and evenings were great fun and even members who were no longer in the IBM world turned up to revive past glories.
Gabriella Davis got me this totally apt t-shirt (which has since been pinched by my wife)
The session I luckily got accepted for was with Paul Mooney and was on Salesforce, a relatively new skill set for me and we were standing room only (mainly due to Paul), but people liked it and we were asked lots of good questions.
Other than that, it was mayhem, I had terrible client overflow and was running around all over the place stressing every second, but frankly I would not change it for the world. roll on next year.
“two tassel talk” : This is the long stream of corporate platitudes (sort of the corporate version of what politicians say) that you get off senior managers that are just marking time in their current role before they hope to be promoted away. ↩