Unlike my hesitancy around attending Intersect 2018 I penciled in my attendance to SIM Connect Live as soon as the event flyer hit my inbox! To understand my affinity for Society for Information Management (SIM), I need to provide you with a little bit of background about my history with SIM.
In 2016 I had the privilege of attending and completing Regional Leadership Forum (RLF) RLF which encompasses the training arm of SIM for executive leadership development. Through the RLF program, I met and personally experienced the caliber of the individuals who associate with and participate in SIM. Whenever I meet up with my RLF classmates or attend a SIM event I am simultaneously both amazed and humbled. Being surrounded by people who have "crushed it" or are "crushing it" in my profession is exciting. It never fails that when in the company of this audience my brain is flooded with sharpening sword metaphors (or maybe just the one but you get it). I highly encourage everyone in my network to do some homework and research both SIM and RLF.
The Venue: This year SIM Connect Live was held in downtown Dallas at the Sheraton hotel. The venue had more than enough capacity for its guests and was relatively economical. The price of parking still has me shaking my head a bit, but compared the cost of a more "exotic" or flashy locations, by comparison, it was great.
The Speakers: This years event had some fantastic keynote speakers. The keynote speakers this year (of the ones that I could attend) focused their speeches on some aspect of on the future of technology and applied their very own perspectives and experiences to well-crafted messages. I, unfortunately, had to catch my plane and did miss one of the keynotes. The fact that I missed Vince Poscente's presentation (who is a Hall of Fame speaker) for a flight that ended up being canceled; still hurts!
Bruce Flitcroft, CEO of TenFour, challenged IT professionals to change their perspectives and thus their
current operating models to limit risk and to add value by focusing on work and building skills around the value-adding activities that actually matter! Nice write up about Bruce's perspectives from Profile Magazine.
Kevin Kelly Senior Maverick for Wired Magazine stretched my imagination of what might be possible in the future as he took the audience on a technology journey into 2030(?) and beyond.
In general, I feel they all expressed a bright future for technology and the economy. They all expressed that with change comes obsolescence, however as doors are closed multiple doors are opening to support the new status quo!
SIM ConnectLive offered a variety of learning tracks to cater to its attendees! My notes more than attest to the fact that every session I attended provided some great information. Whether it was hearing from Ann Kaiser, CEO of ProjectEngin and her STEM Outreach Toolkit or hearing about "The future of Work...." from Molly Mahoney or about the importance of "Personal Branding..." from John Murdock they were all very informative!
Networking: The event set up, and activities provided participants a chance to break the ice and get to know one another. Wheather it was while eating breakfast, listening to a keynote together or learning how to do the "cotton eye joe" the event provided an excellent atmosphere for those who wanted to branch out and make new business acquaintances.
When you combine the keynotes with all of the individual learning track sessions and the caliber of attendees it was easily a worthwhile event and investment.
The nits that I do have for the event are minor, but maybe it is useful feedback?
The Event App: This year's event was accompanied by an app that had the schedule, speaker bios, etc. These event apps are becoming very popular and are fantastic! The nit is that only a few of the speakers made their material available through the app. Most of the speakers had no issue sharing their content as proven by my follow up emails and the slides I have obtained since the conference. I understand if speakers want to safeguard their material, however, in this case, it felt like an opportunity missed. I did, however, receive an email stating that I would get the materials if I complete a survey; which would not of done otherwise! This holding the material hostage for feedback approach might be genius! Or it may also be very frustrating. Still waiting for the materials! *shrug*
The Schedule: My other nit is the schedule. I made a personal choice to try to make it home at a reasonable time on Friday as it related to available flights so if I missed out that it is on me! I do think that it would have been great if the final keynote was sorted more around early afternoon and the hotel checkout time. An afternoon-ish closing keynote would allow attendees to catch late afternoon flights and alleviate the need to contend with the logistics of their luggage after hotel checkout times while still at the event. The event officially ended at 4:30. I have no hopes of being an elite hotel member with a guaranteed 4 PM late checkout option!
Attend SIM Connect Live 2019
Where: Orlando Florida at the Renaissance Sea World
When: May 15th - May 17th.