Conference & Conference & Conference Oh My!!

Posted by Kim May on April 1, 2019 under DB2 Education, DB2 for Linux Unix Windows, DB2 for z/OS, International DB2 Users Group (IDUG), TFG Blog. Tags: .

The buildup and push for the Think Conference was manic. The “EXCITEMENT!!” seemed to come from a small group of IBM marketing folks and the focus on attendance numbers (tough to confirm or deny) was odd.

Customers and Business Partners focused on the data management component of the Analytics portfolio, and with a limited budget to attend conferences, seem to have shifted from the IOD/Insight/Think Conference to the International Db2 Users Group (IDUG) conferences. IDUG North America is held in the Spring, this year in Charlotte, South Carolina, from June 2 – 6. The conference focus is education for IBM database technologies solutions.  Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning aren’t the dominating topics, and session selections and content are managed by IDUG volunteers.  IDUG NA 2019 costs $2165 to attend, with a $300 early bird discount available until April 22nd.

Having IDUG to counterbalance Think makes sense to me.  Also, the IDUG community is very user friendly.  There are several discount options to make attendance affordable, and as has been the case at most technical conferences, presenters receive a free pass.

Now – the wild card.  IBM, through their marketing collaboration with IDG, has scheduled another conference, this one called IBM Data and AI Forum, for Miami, Florida, from October 21 – 24.   This event is the former IBM Analytics University, which I believe evolved from the Db2 Technical Conference.

It seems to be IBM’s attempt to cross pollinate Db2 users with AI, not necessarily a logical partnership in my opinion, as the potential benefits of AI and Machine Learning seem to be in the conceptual sales stage, being pitched to senior management, while the technical teams running data centers aren’t setting the analytics vision.  The conference pass cost is far lower than IDUG or Think, at $1295 for a full price pass and $1095 with the early bird discount through July 31.

The call for speakers is open and I understand selected speakers will be compensated for presenting.

It will be interesting to see how the community responds to all these conference offerings.  Hmmm…

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