Thursday, August 14, 2008

TechWave Conclusions

Once again I thought this was one of the best TechWaves in years. Better than last years, which was good. Having my laptop crash on me when I'm scheduled to do four sessions wasn't pleasant, and took the edge off of it for me. Otherwise, it might have been a real blast.

Location - I’m still no big fan of Las Vegas. The Mandalay Bay was a great place to hold the event. Can't believe I've stayed there 2 years and still haven't been in the wave pool. All the same, I'm looking forward to next year's East Coast location. However, I'd still really like to see the date and location of the next TechWave announced sometime during the current one (perhaps towards the conclusion). Get people excited about next years while they're still excited about this years. Open the call for papers for next years at the end of this years as well.

Technical Breakouts - I didn't see many besides my own. From what I did see, reducing the number and focusing on quality did improve attendance.

Keynotes - First time in a long time that they've kept them on time and to a reasonable duration! More plenaries held simultaneously was a great improvement. The only thing I would suggest changing is having the "panel" type portions of the keynotes to pre-recorded with intermixed video to liven them up.

Special Event - From what I heard, much better than last year. This time it really was a "special" event. I'd still like to see something a bit more family oriented (and cheaper).

Exhibit Hall - Great job of holding many events in the Exhibit Hall. Seemed to go well.

Webcasts - The recording of the keynotes and plenary sessions once again was a real plus. I didn't see any recording of the technical sessions though. I would have liked to have seen that again this year.

ISUG Enhancements Sessions / Meeting - Good attendance and great involvement, probably mostly due to timing in the schedule. Let's keep it that way for next year.

Strut your stuff - Would still like to see more of this. They had a video contest this year. They didn't seem to have a whole lot of entries. But if they did, I'd like to have seen the voting handled more American Idol style (not that I've actually watched American Idol). Have people text in their votes (which they did have them do), but show the tally live and changing constantly as the votes come in. Put together a Sybase based solution that makes it possible and show it off.

Video Contest - Thought it was a great idea, but announced too late for many people to participate. Let's do it again but give folks a bit more notice.

One odd note - Given their focus on the "unwired enterprise" and their new "Sybase Unwired Platform", I was surprised that I didn't see the new platform getting much push other than a mention during the keynote. Not that I actually want the thing thrown in my face, but I was rather expecting it. Having expected it, and then got what I really wanted (little mention of it), was a bit of a stunner. Perhaps they realize that while it might bring in new customers, a large bulk of their existing customers don't have a use for it.

No comments: