ITXPO: 5 days of observations
Hello Gartner Symposium, so nice to see you.
While it has been 10 or 12 years since I last attended Gartner’s biggest showcase event of the year, and arguably the IT world’s most ballyhooed annual event, the lasting impression I have is that the event is much the same (in a good way) as it was in the early 2000s, just bigger. Much bigger!
I spoke with several CIOs and IT leaders over the last several days who told me this conference still brings great value to those in IT, for its ability to forecast future trends and drive the discussion around those topics. Many noted that Gartner Symposium is the most important and informative event they’ll attend all year. In particular, they also look forward to the peer networking sessions which, this year, were available by industry as well, which I was told was a great addition.
But having not been a regular attendee these last many years, there were additional observations I made and would like to share.
- IT is a male-dominated profession (I know, duh, right? But when you are among some 12,000 technology pros the gender variance is quite stark.)
- iPad was the device of choice – smartphones were relegated to just a phone. In fact, during his talk on Wednesday, Colin Powell commented, “I’ve never been in a room where there were so many iPads being held up to take my picture.”
- Buzzwords, like agility, actually mean something to CIOs (although it gets a little murky when every vendor uses the same ones)
- Khaki pants and Navy blue blazers are alive and well (refer back to bullet point No. 1)
- Despite recent challenges, interest in Huawei is still high based on booth traffic
- Most Valuable Expo Tchotchke was the emergency cell phone charger (thanks, ATOS!)
- If you didn’t make dinner reservations back in March for the first night, you weren’t dining out. My colleagues and I had a liquid meal.
- Now is a great time to be a CMO. This was a hot topic, and one that I’ll expand upon in another post next week.
- Social is clearly a key trend impacting all of us, but the magnitude may be much greater than we even realize today. Have you ever considered that in the near future the information about you on LinkedIn could be more comprehensive and more current than in your employer’s HR system?
I found the show to be informative on many levels, offered the opportunity to meet and speak with many great minds about what their companies are doing in their respective spaces, and to network with other marketing professionals.
It’s now time for me to process the many pages of notes I jotted down and the conversations I had, and decide if I’ll be back in 2013. I’ve only got five months to make that decision; that’s when I’ll have to book my dinner reservations.
Christine Simeone, executive vice president at LPP, attended Gartner Symposium and filed this report.