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Notes From The 2014 Interop Advisory Board Meeting

The Interop Advisory Board met this May to provide feedback on the Las Vegas conference and suggestions for New York. See what's on tap, and add your own suggestions.

The Interop Advisory Board gathered in San Francisco recently for its annual meeting. The board, which includes twelve IT and business professionals and Interop’s Track Chairs, offers input and guidance on the Interop conference.

The meeting covered a range of topics including current industry challenges and priorities, IT’s essential role as a business driver, and the need for IT professionals to step forward as business leaders. Advisory board members also discussed conference highlights and lowlights, content development, marketing efforts, keynotes, attendee experience, and the Mobile App.

The meeting opened with a discussion regarding current business challenges. Some common themes included having to “do more with less” (fewer employees, reduced budgets), IT taking the backseat within the business (and how to reverse that situation), competing with brand-name companies for IT talent, security problems, and lack of a post-disaster protocol.

Interop’s New York conference addresses many of these issues head-on, including creative IT leadership and cloud storage and disaster recovery.

After addressing issues within the IT industry, the board offered a post-mortem of Interop Las Vegas 2014. Some of the issues where they’d like to see improvement include the type and relevance of the attendee breakdown on the exhibit floor, the desire for additional structured networking opportunities, and making the Vendor Tech Sessions (free education) more inviting.

Highlights from the Las Vegas included the Interop party at LIGHT nightclub, the high quality of the conference sessions, the keynote presentations, and the fact that the event is consistently up-to-date on current IT trends.

Interop always strives to improve, so although at this time we are unable to fulfill the request to implement a “Martini Track,” for New York, we always welcome feedback from the community.

Each Track Chair presented an overview of the sessions slated for New York. The Advisory Board members provided suggestions to help strengthen and define the direction of each track.

The second day of the meeting opened with a presentation by Cloud Connect General Manager, Steve Wylie. For the first time in New York, Cloud Connect will be collocated with Interop to offer a unique program designed to appeal to cloud practitioners, technology stakeholders, and business leaders. The Interop Cloud Computing and Virtualization Track will also now be part of the Cloud Connect Summit. You can get more details on the new program here.

The group was then asked to suggest keynote speakers. The ideas ranged from Bill Nye “The Science Guy” to Louis CK to Chelsea Clinton. The Interop team’s ultimate goal is to showcase keynote speakers that can energize the audience – to get them excited about their role in the industry, and to take what they hear back to their communities. If we get some laughs, we’ll take those too. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for keynote announcements in the coming months.

The remainder of the meeting covered improvements to and suggestions for the Interop Mobile App. Interop plans to reduce the number of printed program guides at the New York conference and gently nudge the community to “go Green” by using the Mobile App.

On behalf of the entire Interop team we would like to thank our Advisory Board members for their valuable feedback. If you have suggestions on how to help us improve our event, please reach out to Madeline McCaffrey, Be sure to stay tuned to see the great changes and additions we have made to the program at Interop New York in October!

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User Rank: Moderator
6/18/2014 | 1:45:22 PM
Re: No martinis???
I think you're on to something Sue! The insights from the board were super helpful. Can't wait to put the ideas into action.
Susan Fogarty
Susan Fogarty,
User Rank: Author
6/17/2014 | 9:25:40 AM
No martinis???
Awwww, well if we can't have a martini track, I think we should seriously consider a bagel kiosk. It is New York, after all :)
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