Conference News: What I learned this week – October 12, 2018

Losing its Momentum?: Instead of hosting the Momentum Conference in New York in 2018 The Next Web’s (TNW) team will instead run an event in London that is all about blockchain and crypto. Dubbed Hard Fork Decentralized, the gathering will bring together the world’s leading blockchain, crypto and finance companies at more than 50 venues across three days. This new conference will take place from 12 – 14 December. Info on the venues and activities may be found here.

Hopping Across the Pond: TMT Finance, a leading provider of exclusive news and events on M&A, investment, financing and advisory opportunities in telecom, media and technology, has announced that they will produce a version of their flagship M&A forum in the US for the first time next year. The group has held an M&A conference in London for almost a decade but due to “a rapid rise in interest in our news and events from our US-based TMT executives and investors” it will debut a sister event in New York on 11 April 2019. TMT will expects approximately 250 executives active in telecom and media infrastructure and services across North America to attend.

Speaking Opportunity: IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) International Leadership Conference brings together mid-to-senior, technology professionals and female and male STEM leaders from around the world who are interested in advancing women leaders. The organization is currently accepting speaker presentation proposals for the 2019 event, which will take place in Austin on 23 – 24 May. If you have a topic or speaker idea to suggest, do so via their online form by 17 November.

Lunchtime Learning: For over 30 years, Interop’s evolving conference brand has meant education, thought leadership, and networking for thousands of IT problem solvers. What initially set out to cover interoperability & IP networks now examines contemporary trends du jour, like cloud, data & analytics and how emerging technologies like blockchain and VR are affecting IT. Tune in to Interop’s keynote channel to watch a fascinating fireside chat with the City of Detroit’s CIO Beth Niblock, a keynote from an infrastructure exec with Amazon/Whole Foods, and an especially eye-opening panel on inclusion in tech, all from the 2018 program.

Coming Up Next Week: The global TV industry will divide and conquer, with well-known events in New York, LA, and Cannes this week. First up, MIPCOM attracts nearly 14,000 TV and digital content executives when it kicks off 15 October in the French city best known for its eponymous film and creative festivals. In LA, Digital Hollywood (16-18 October) convenes yet another program jam-packed with expert panels, covering issues from advertising to cannabis to VR in Hollywood. NAB NYC will run 17-18 October at the Javits Center. With keynotes from Robert De Niro and ABC correspondent Martha Raddatz, the show also offers business, technology, and creative sessions tracks to “advance the art, science, and business of content.” WIRED25, which celebrates the publication’s quarter-century mark, gets underway on 12 October in San Francisco and combines an interactive festival celebrating the cultural side of tech, a one-day business summit, and behind-the-scenes office visits of some of SF’s hottest companies. Chicago Ideas Week (15-21 October) is a seven-day festival that features more than 200 experts on wide-ranging topics and, with tickets for even some of the biggest name speakers starting at $15, delivers on its promise of open ideas.



Conference News: What I learned this week – September 28, 2018

Disruptive Tech Event: Chief Executive Magazine will add a new event to its line up next year! The Disruptive Tech Summit will debut in Boston from 10 -11 June. Hosted by Corporate Board Member and Chief Executive magazines, the conference will take CEOs and Board Members “beyond the buzzwords and theoretical promises to understand the practical business applications and strategies to embrace disruption.” According to the conference organizers, the event will function as a 2-day boot camp for public company CEOs and board members to get them up to speed on new technologies that will be affecting their business.  Sessions will be top academics and thinkers on everything from blockchain to supply chain, including renowned innovation expert Clayton Christensen.

Celebrate Good Times: Innovate Celebrate is self-described as a global conference “bridging the gap between the very best emerging startups and the world’s leading technology brands.” Co-hosted by Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ and Established (formerly TechCo Media) the event will be in Boston for the first time this year (15 – 17 October)! The speakers and schedules have finally been announced here. The growing startup scene in Boston makes it an ideal location for this conference.

Speaking Opportunity: The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) World Conference will head to Vancouver next year (9 – 12 June), bringing together more than a thousand communications professionals from agencies and brands. The organization is currently seeking speaker proposals that fit within the conference theme of “Think Forward.” If you have “experiences or perspectives that will help the communication leaders of today and tomorrow be the best they can possibly be” submit a speaker proposal by 12 October 2018, following these thoroughly-written guidelines.

Lunchtime Learning: The Webit.Festival Europe events introduce disruptive technologies and present new business models in order provide all the ingredients for the enterprise world to innovate through collaboration with the hottest global startups. In 2018 the festival welcomed more than 5,000 attendees who were tech luminaries, corporate business leaders, entrepreneurs and investors. Check out the Innovate sessions which featured speakers whose technologies are shaping the future. Watch presentations by Patrick van der Smagt, director of the open-source Volkswagen Group AI Research Lab; Nigel Ackland, the pioneering pilot for the bebionic V3 prosthetic hand; Nicolas Verschelden, Head of Digital Innovation at Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Coming Up Next Week: Seattle lives up to its status as the northwest capital of tech when it hosts Geekwire Summit on 1 October. Ring’s CEO & Chief Inventor and Uber’s Chief Legal Officer are joined by the usual suspects, like AWS and Google, in addressing the future of the innovation economy. New York sees an influx of creative professionals this week with Advertising Week (1-4 October) kicking off Monday and attracting crowds approaching 100k for dozens of panels, happy hours, awards, and workshops. Later in the week, the 5th annual NY Media Festival gets underway featuring one-day programs (like Digital Media Wire’s Video Future of Television, 5 October) for leaders in entertainment, media, and technology with a focus on brands, advertising, monetization, and distribution. Fortune convenes its Most Powerful Women Summit (1-3 October) in Laguna Niguel, and as usual packs a punch with an impressive speaker lineup. Not to be outdone, Washington DC sees its eponymous Ideas Festival rebranded as The Atlantic Festival (2-4 October). The new name “pays homage to 161 years of award-winning journalism, analysis and storytelling, and captures the expansive nature of the event.”

Conference News: What I learned this week – September 21, 2018

CNBC in the other Bay Area: Based on the explosive growth of technical innovation and startup activity in the Guangzhou Bay Area, CNBC International has decided to focus their efforts in China, creating a new annual conference called East Tech West. Happening from 27 – 29 November in Guangzhou, the conference will feature CNBC-hosted panels, fireside chats and workshops covering eight tech themes: AI in Society; The Future of Fintech; Tech innovation/5G/Telecommunications; Cybersecurity; Venture Capital; The Global Trade Outlook; The Greater Bay Area; The Future of Entertainment. CNBC will also be broadcasting live from the event and providing immersive reporting digitally on

Keep it Local: Localogy is a new 1-day event for agencies and in-house marketers exploring the latest information and best practices on advanced marketing topics and tactics. Attendees will leave with new ideas for generating leads, revenue and sales. Check out the gatherings this fall in NYC and Seattle.

Speaking Opportunity: Interop ITX returns to Las Vegas from 20 – 23 May 2019 and the conference organizers are accepting speaker proposals until 12 October.  They are accepting submissions in these main topic areas: Cloud; Data & Analytics; Devops; Emerging Tech; Infrastructure; IT Strategy; Professional Development; and Security. If you have a speaker and topic idea that is relevant, actionable and vendor- and product-agnostic, submit via their online form found here.

Lunchtime Learning: Brought to you by the creators of Web Summit, MoneyConf has gathered the world’s leading bitcoin, cryptocurrency and fintech experts every year since 2015. Taking place in Dublin each June, the event has grown to include more than 5,000 attendees from over 60 countries. If you want to stay up-to-date on the Next Big Thing in fintech, check out videos from last year’s conference here. And if you are so inspired, registration has already opened for the next MoneyConf to be held from 10 – 12 June 2019.

Coming Up Next Week: Two tech giants go head-to-head this week when Microsoft and Salesforce host user conferences on opposite coasts. Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce (25-28 September) has grown into a true behemoth, taking over Moscone, the Marriott Marquis, and other nearby SF hotels and drawing upwards of 160,000 industry “trailblazers” for an already sold-out program, plus… heavy metal legends Metallica? In Orlando, Microsoft Ignite kicks off 24 September with fewer actual rock stars but awesome insights into the future of cloud, data, business intelligence, teamwork, and productivity. Fortune Brainstorm Reinvent gets underway 25 September in Chicago and brings a select group of tech heavyweights together for an intensive discussion on digital transformation, curated by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky, Beth Kowitt, and Brian O’Keefe, and former GE Vice Chair Beth Comstock. Last but not least, the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Women In Computing Conference (26-28 September) gears up for another year of welcoming 18,000 women technologists to Houston.

Conference News: What I learned this week – September 14, 2018

Tech Savvy Content Development: Content Marketing Institute (CMI) acquired the Intelligent Content Conference in 2014 to help professionals develop more efficient and scalable content strategies. As the industry has evolved, CMI has decided to focus more of the conference content on technology – and its impact on content, processes, and strategy. Therefore, they are rebranding and renaming the Intelligent Content Conference to ContentTECH Summit in 2019. The event will be in San Diego from 8 – 10 April. To learn more and submit speakers check out the new web site here.

Innovation and Intelligence Coming Together: The World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WSIE) just completed a merger with the brands of the World Innovation Organization (“WIO”), including the World Intelligence Festival, Design Intelligence Atelier, Intelligent Cities Expo and the World’s Most Innovative People Awards. Moving forward, WSIE will include “the sum of these experiences” and “focus on inspiring and spreading intelligent innovations…across seven industries – services, lifestyle, manufacturing, infrastructure, health, industry 4.0 and cities.” And based on the conference organizers discussions with many of the WIO fellows, partners and speakers, they decided to move the event from October of 2018 to 8 – 10 April 2019. It will be held at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

Speaking Opportunity: The ISTE Conference & Expo is one of the most influential edtech events in the world. From 23 – 26 June thousands of educators who are looking to harness the power of technology to advance learning and teaching will gather in Philadelphia for the 2019 annual conference. Until 27 September, educators at any career stage or exhibitors who would like to demonstrate noncommercial uses of technology to transform education may submit speaker proposals via the online CFP form. Remember to check out their submission guidelines first. They offer helpful details and tips.

Lunchtime Learning: The DLD Team heads to the Big Apple every spring to explore the infinite opportunities of the digital world and to inspire discussion around the most important trends headed our way. Hear an eclectic line up of speakers including Werner Vogels from Amazon in a session called We Can Hear You – Voice For Business, Mary Lou Jepsen of OpenWater and Wolf Singer of Max Planck Society on Disrupting The MRI – New Ways To Read The Brain; and Stephan Schambach of NewStore on The Future Of Retail.

Coming Up Next Week: Over 2,000 healthcare professionals – everyone from nurses and hospital CIOs to policy makers and tech providers – gather at Health 2.0 (16-18 September; Santa Clara). There, they’ll be treated to keynotes from Google, UPMC, Walmart, and more. On 17 September, the IFP Screen Forward Conference kicks off in New York and showcases the development, production, and promotion of hundreds of independent films. The Berkeley Innovation Forum (BIF) runs 19-20 September. True to its mission of open innovation, BIF brings together a carefully selected, membership-based group of about 125 executives whose discussions are guided by their own experiences but also the latest research out of UC Berkeley and other universities. The AI Summit (18-20 September; San Francisco) boasts the tagline “world’s largest AI for business event” and with good reason: AWS, Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft all participate here. And on 21 September, the 3rd annual VR/AR Global Summit gets underway in Vancouver and offers keynotes, workshops, and other collaborative spaces for attendees to examine advancements in VR/AR/MR.

Conference News: What I learned this week – September 7, 2018

The ‘Incite’ Scoop on Smart Cities: Incite Group is hosting a new event in December focused on smart cities. But unlike many other events covering this topic, this conference will consider what city managers and other public officials, potential investors and tech vendors can do today (not 10 years from now) as our metropolises become more connected. Impact Cities, running 4 -5 December in Las Vegas, will consider how to secure funding for smart infrastructure, adopt tech to attain tangible operational & sustainability goals, embrace openness & enable collaboration, and manage citizen’s data securely. The conference organizers expect approximately 500 attendees from the enterprise, government and investment communities.

Making Change in Beantown: This fall, HUBweek will be debuting the Change Maker Conference on 8 – 9 October in Boston. The goal of this curated experience is to “bring together a community of inspiring and interesting people – those who are smart enough to know they can change the world and, more importantly, are actively doing it.” These 300 Change Makers will come not only from New England, but from around the world. According to the organizers, the programming topics will include: enabling technologies; diversity, inclusion and accessibility; civic impact; living labs and design thinking; innovation, policy and regulation.

Speaking Opportunity: Gilbane’s Digital Experience Conference, happening from 29 – 30 April in Washington D.C. has opened its call for speakers.  If your organization is has implemented new technologies or practices in support of digital experience strategies or digital transformation initiatives, submit your topic for consideration by 12 October. More details on how to complete the speaker submission may be found here.

Lunchtime Learning: RampUp is a martech thought-leadership destination for relevant, best-in-class content that’s hosted by LiveRamp. Their annual conference brings together thousands of professionals to hear from advertising and marketing luminaries such as Chief Data and Analytics Officer of General Motors, the CMOs of Adobe Systems and TripAdvisor and the Head of AdvancedTV at Hulu. In order to understand more about topics such as data monetization, identity in advertising and whether blockchain can solve programmatic, check out these videos from the 2018 conference.

Coming Up Next Week: Coming up next week: So many events kicking off the fall conference season, so little time! Tech, business, and culture converge at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech (11-14 September; Boston). This year’s EmTech themes include the democratization of AI, data-based healthcare, and sustainable energy. O’Reilly Strata + Hadoop World East will run 11-13 September in New York and features the three-day Strata Business Summit for those focused on the business applications of technologies like AI, IoT, and machine learning. Mobile World Congress Americas, which builds on GSMA’s flagship brand in partnership with CTIA, is held 12-14 September in Los Angeles. NRF’s (12-14 September; Las Vegas) is partnering this year with Fast Company to offer sessions that will examine world-changing ideas in retail. And internationally, conference heavyweights dmexco (12-13 September; Cologne), ITU Telecom World (10-13 September; Durban, South Africa), and IBC (13-17 September; Amsterdam) round out the week.

The 15-minute keynote? How to Respond to Shrinking Speaker Timeslots

Anyone who has worked on a corporate or personal speaker program – heck, anyone who has attended conferences recently – has likely noticed a trend in the length of sessions on the agenda. Session times are shrinking. This is one of the by-products of what I call the TEDification of events. TED Conference has influenced the conference industry in a number of ways but the most apparent of these is the shorted conference session.  The TED influence combined with our increasingly digital lifestyles which promote the “soundbite culture” and help appease our limited attention spans, means that you rarely find a conference session longer than 30 minutes and many that are between 15 – 20 minutes in length.

You may consider this trend to be positive if you are a conference attendee. You certainly won’t be bored at an event. And even if you are stuck watching a really mundane speaker, you only need to wait a few more minutes and he or she will be off the stage!

As a speaker, or someone running a speaker program for your company, however, the shrinking session time slot can pose a challenging question: Should an executive travel to a conference for less stage time than it takes to wait in  line at Starbucks?  It the visibility for the brand worth the time out of the office?

One of the reasons that this question is so difficult to answer, is because there is not one clear answer.  The choice to attend an event or accept a speaking opportunity must be weighed in relation to several factors:

  • The quality and quantity of the audience.
  • Whether the opportunity is one that is necessary for building the speaker’s speaking resume or the company’s credibility in a particular market.
  • The difficulty or length of travel to the conference.
  • The difficulty in getting accepted to that particular conference.

Remember that people are clamoring to speak at TED, which receives more than 25,000 speaker suggestions per year.  And those sessions are not longer than 18 minutes!

Whatever you decide, one thing that can make the process much easier is to investigate the type/length of speaking sessions available before you make a speaker submission. Review last year’s agenda or reach out to the conference organizer, if necessary, to determine the average session length.  Review the speaker guidelines which are often available before you complete a CFP or make a speaker submission.  If you can obtain this information, have a frank discussion with the potential speaker to manage their expectations.  Remind them that this is an industry trend that is not likely to reverse course any time soon.


Conference News: What I learned this week – August 24, 2018

What’s NEXT? Bloomberg BNA will no longer host their Next Tech or Next Infrastructure conferences, instead putting all efforts and energy towards the Bloomberg Next Summit, which aims to “create new connections and bridge gaps between American innovators and Washington’s ideas and influence community.” The summit expanded to three days in 2018 and changed venues (13- 15 November at the InterContinental, The Wharf in D.C.) The attendance is expected to grow to 250 tech executives, members of federal agencies, think tanks and academia.

The Show Must Not Go On: Dark Reading announced this week that its INsecurity Conference, originally scheduled for 23 – 25 October has been cancelled. According to the organizers, “After a detailed review of different facets including registrations and sponsorships, we are going to have to cancel the INsecurity Conference for 2018.” They still believe in the concept of a “non-west-coast event that focuses on blue team best practices, expert speakers, and lots of interaction” and hope to bring it back again in 2019.

VRVoice Goes Abroad: When launched a few years ago, it was a content vertical on all things virtual reality. They are going to keep the brand name as VRVoice, but they now cover AR, MR, XR as well. VR Voice founder Robert Fine just announced that they are hosting their first European event in Zurich from 3 – 4 December. The conference will highlight leaders pushing the boundaries of applied virtual reality within healthcare.

Speaking Opportunity: Strata Data Conference offers a deep dive into emerging techniques and technologies and illustrates how big data, machine learning, and analytics are changing how we do business. If you have a talk that highlights how the strategic use of data can shape the future of both business and technology, submit it for consideration before the 18 September deadline. Sample topics and best practices for writing a strong proposal may be found here.

Lunchtime Learning: Unbound conferences connect brands and corporates with disruptive technology, products and services, in order to fuel their innovation and growth. The event now takes place in four locations around the world: Miami, Singapore, London and Bahrain. Hear the top minds in fintech, adtech, AI, healthtech, eCommerce, robotics and more, share their knowledge and highlight emerging technologies.

Coming Up Next Week: While most event producers get to enjoy summer’s unofficial last week, VMworld’s organizers are gearing up to welcome 22,000 tech professionals and business decision-makers to Las Vegas from 26-28 August. In addition to peer networking and educational sessions, attendees can expect to be inspired by keynoter and youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai. In the U.S. capital, attendees of Digital Summit DC will hear from brand and tech marketers 27-28 August on pressing issues facing their peers, such as content, data & analytics, design, and UX. Last but not least, GoSec Cyber Security Conference will run 29-30 August in Montreal, gathering more than 400 IT and security experts from multiple sectors.