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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

What does a "would & could attend" IT conference look like?

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Somewhere, on an index card, I made a note asking "what does a must-attend event for enterprise architects look like?".   The idea being that once identified, I could engage with the community to make that happen.  Of course, I jotted this down in early 2008 when folks were actually attending conferences.  It would be fair to say that as a result of budget cuts conference attendance dropped off a cliff in late 2008, and 2009 isn't looking any better, with many organizations scaling down or canceling events.

However, the lack of travel & training budget doesn't equate to a lack of need.  And sure, when done right, online webinars and conferences provide a good way to receive information and to some extent, interact with speakers and other attendees, but they don't provide for opportunistic connections and exchanges -- hallway conversations and such.

A recent "random thought" from James McGovern reminded me of my index card and got me wondering not just about the future, but also the near term.  What does a "would & could attend" IT conference (event) look like? 


Of the elements I've included in the blue circle above, which are most important to you? 

And how do you define them?  For instance, does a "credible speaker" have to be high-profile?  Or, could it be a lesser known, but experienced practitioner? 

Would you be interested in a highly participatory, un-conference type format? 

Can a program be short and yet immersive? 

How about topics?  What's of interest?  Would you rather go broad or deep?

Then, on the red constraints circle, what are you willing to put up with for a low cost, high value event?  A 30-45 minute sponsor talk (pitch)?  Follow-on conversation with said sponsor?

Or, perhaps a no-frills approach?  Bring your own lunch?  Hosting a small gathering at your organization?  Other ideas?


Is there a need to create a "would & could attend" event for enterprise architects and/or other constituencies in 2009?  If so, what does it look like? 

Curious to hear your thoughts...

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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