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SNW: Worthwhile or Not?

by Administrator on April 10, 2008

Since I didn’t go to SNW, I have no opinion to offer either way.  I have received numerous communiques from vendors who were there who said that they saw quite a bit of user foot traffic, about on par with what they saw in California or Dallas.

However, pictures don’t lie.  Shot Tuesday at about 2PM in the hallway and the press room using a cell phone camera.  Photographer preferred to be anonymous.

2pm-on-a-tuesday.jpg  so-wheres-the-press.jpg

Seems pretty sparse to me.  Maybe next year they should consider a smaller venue.  Next door to my hotel was a pretty nice La Quinta…

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Administrator April 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm

From the same source as the pix, just received via email…

“By the way their press room had no internet connectivity and had no land lines or printers…”

dvellante April 10, 2008 at 4:35 pm

This is lame. I was there and this is a gross misrepresentation. Everyone hammers snw as a big vendor fest…which it is but there were plenty of users there. I gave a talk monday morning on Green IT with William Souder who runs IT at Berry College in Atlanta. Here’s what one trade rag wrote about the talk: “Experts: Don’t Believe Green IT Hype”:
http://www.byteandswitch.com/document.asp?doc_id=150405&print=true

It missed the key point…which is to solve the problem, focus on root causes, like better data managemement, not hyped technology, but you have to love the title of the article.

The point is we had nearly 100 people in the room. A show of hands indicated that 75% were IT people with the rest either asleep or from vendors. The show was definitely more boring than the only other snw I attended (last fall) but there were plenty of real IT people there; thousands. I met with dozens and got business cards from: financial firm from SFO, energy company from Denver, medical center in PA, local gov’t in FL, financial giant in NYC, aerospace co in CA and on and on.

The main tent sessions were packed with users even though I was a bit disappointed in the content. The panel on green IT especially could have been alot more hard hitting and I was surprised at how many users in the room got up and left just before the session. Only 5% of CIO’s even see the energy budget so I guess unless you’re out of power or have the pain of having to pay, in the US anyway, people still don’t care.

The problem with SNW is they try to water down the talks so as not to upset their sponsors. Rules like no vendor/product mentions, must be vendor neutral, etc are designed to placate sponsors. It would be better if they encouraged speakers to just tell it like it is…which is why I probably won’t be invited back. -Dave from wikibon.org

Administrator April 10, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Thanks, dvellante. As I wrote, I wasn’t there. So, when the reports were mixed, I just printed them all.

Your views have been duly noted.

dvellante April 11, 2008 at 10:05 am

You’re welcome. Thanks for acknowledging one person’s opinion. I would like to add that I slammed B & S in my earlier comment post above and to the writer’s credit he has updated the article and made the points right:
http://www.byteandswitch.com/document.asp?doc_id=150405&print=true

gknieriemen April 14, 2008 at 1:19 am

In many ways, SNW was the same snore fest that it’s always been. The only value I see is the after-hours cocktail networking – my BS detector works better when vendors are drinking. I will say that I think there were slightly more end users than in past years. I don’t do the press room stuff so I can’t speak for that.

Jon – I actually tried to email you to see where/when you were holding court but your mailbox kicked it back (the next day you posted the answer on your blog). Anyways, looking forward to seeing you in Cleveland next month.

gknieriemen April 14, 2008 at 1:22 am

Oh yeah… the Xiotech ISE booth babes weren’t bad.

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