You arrive at SFO on Sunday, November 2nd, and step out into the cool, dry air of fall in California. You can almost smell the ocean. On the cab ride to your hotel, you pass by an outdoor art show, a protest, and a 100-foot line for vegetarian tacos. It seems like every other car you see is a Prius.
Day One: Speeches, Demos, and Networking
By the next morning, you’ve consumed a room-service cheeseburger, watched the second half of a Sandra Bullock movie on HBO, and slept for a few hours. You steal a banana from the lobby, assuming they’re free, and head off to TIBCO NOW.
Cruising through registration, you grab your badge and rush to find a good seat for the opening keynotes. You listen to speeches from technology innovators that you’ve only read about. You find the speeches to be incredibly compelling, to the point that you begin reevaluating not just your IT, but your entire life. What does it all mean? Nevermind, someone hands you an iPad with the latest analytics tools on it. “Pretty cool stuff,” you think, before remembering that lunch is about to start.
After a sandwich that permanently alters your world view, it’s time to network. You chat with the CEO of cloud-based weather tracking service called “Cloud Cloud” while trying to avoid Randy from IT. You run into some TIBCO employees who seem like the coolest people you’ve ever met.
Day Two: General Sessions
Another cheeseburger and another Sandra Bullock movie later, you hear a presentation on Fast Data and can’t believe that big data is already passé. In another session, you learn you’ve been using the cloud all wrong, both as a technology and as a word. In a breakout session, you learn about a technology that is guaranteed to make your boss think you’re smart.
The TIBCO NOW Concert starts at 7:00 p.m., which gives you just enough time to head back to your hotel room and change. You put on your flyest outfit and remember that people don’t say “fly” anymore.
At the concert, you hear some great music, drink some drinks, and dance with someone who just gave a speech on log management software.
Day Three: Goodbyes
With your head swimming with names, provocative information, and maybe a little booze, you run into your dance partner from last night and duck into a breakout session about how the oil and gas industry uses business intelligence. You don’t work in the oil and gas industry, but the speech is pretty interesting anyway. You begin to understand why people in San Francisco like Priuses so much.
The conference starts to wrap up. You take some business cards, say some goodbyes, and grab a brochure for a customer loyalty platform. On the cab ride back to the airport, you notice that people are lining up for vegan falafels now.
Your boss calls. You say everything is going fine, and that you’ll be at work on Friday with a bunch of stuff to report. Immediately after, you start to panic because you don’t have anything to report, but as you board your plane home, it all comes back to you. Over the last few days, you learned about new technologies, new business strategies, and new ways to get things done. You heard thoughtful people discuss the future of your industry, and the realities you face today. You broke bread with leaders, peers, and experts who you never thought you’d meet, and walked away with a better understanding of what you can do to achieve your business goals. You DO have a bunch of stuff to report. You DID learn things that can help your business. That Sandra Bullock movie WAS pretty good.
You silently congratulate yourself for another successful conference.