I’m here at Future Insights Live for a few days this week. This year it’s at the MGM Grand, (right across from New York, New York, which I find much more interesting to photograph) taking a floor in their conference center. A few folks from my company are at IBM’s Impact event down the street at the Venetian. Since I’ve been to both, I have a bit of an opinion on what makes Future Insights a better fit for me this year. Not to say I don’t see value for both.
I’ll speak in generalizations. Impact first off is a large conference, attracting what seems like mostly employees from larger companies. Sessions are mostly face forward, with lots of slides on the IBM product at hand. Think Rational Application Developer, BPM, App Server, etc. Smarter Commerce might be a little more practical, but suffers in other ways. I think IBM suffers from the same issues any large company deals with in that it becomes very easy to focus on the products being sold and not the solutions the customer is trying to solve.
Future Insights Live seems to strike a nice balance in that they attract great speakers for keynotes, have 5 tracks all the way from Design to Development to Business. There’s a difference in the audience. Lots of designers, entrepreneurs, app developers. The ratio of tattoos per person is high. People talk in the keynotes. Lots of international presence. I ate lunch with 3 folks from Brazil, one from Quebec, and a guy from Palo Alto. It’s a very nice vibe.
One feature the conference has picked up on that I’ve seen a few times is a graffiti wall and artist to depict some of the tidbits attendees tell her they learned. Fun touch.
Posts from the conference are going to be a little slower in coming since the 50 minute sessions have forced speakers to shove a lot of info into a short timeframe. More to come.