Short, sweet, and to the point. The folks at Actifio did it right in my opinion. I wasn’t paid in any way to attend. Obviously it’s self-serving but the focus was on giving back to the community when they held their eCloud Summit 2015 in Austin. It wasn’t a pitch focused around them as a company. This is how they did it right.
- It was the perfect length. 2 days.
- Keynotes followed by panels in the morning and early afternoon.
- Unconference sessions in the mid afternoon until the end.
Why does this work well? The keynotes set the stage and if you don’t enjoy them, you can ignore them but they’re not persistent pitching. The panels were of users and partners with very open discussion. This means that the vendor isn’t dictating what is valuable to attendees, they’re letting a chosen few help shape things. They also didn’t dictate or try to shape what the panelists delivered.
Lastly there was an unconference portion of the conference. This isn’t new to those who have attended CloudCamps or other unconference-style events. However, this is new for vendor-sponsored conferences. In all honesty, there were a lot of attendees who this may have been new to but for those who tried something new, I think it was incredibly valuable.
I didn’t realize this was Actifio’s first self-organized conference because it seemed like they had been doing it for years. I have to give a lot of credit to Dylan Locsin and the team around him both above and below.