One of the things I like about industry conferences and seminars is that there are always some good takeaways and interesting encounters, even if everything else (venue, speakers, themes, content) is left lacking. I make a point of writing a blog post offering my thoughts and perspectives after every single event, and bridge this experience in a meaningful way with what we do at ng Connect. And the latter is actually not as hard as you might think.
But I am going to make an exception today. This is not about my thoughts or ideas, although I came back with many, this is about a highly successful event and great people I met over these two days.
The Industry of Things World USA 2016 was easily the best conference I have attended in the last three years (and probably longer). Yes, the weather in San Diego was radiant and the Hard Rock Hotel was an interesting venue. But so many other things stood out.
In fact, I was concerned that the world of IoT would be concentrated in Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. I was therefore happily surprised at the turnout, in quality and numbers, of both speakers and delegates. Over 200 companies and 28 nations represented with a great diversity of context and expertise.
The agenda was a perfect mix of industrial, academic and institutional content, the format, a perfect dosage of keynotes, breakouts, and interactive sessions. It won’t do justice to all the speakers, but to give you an idea, I would single out the presentations of the fiery Richard Soley from the Industrial Internet Consortium, of the notorious Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School and Jim Heppelmann CEO of PTC, or of Preston Holmes, Lane Arthur and Chris Dennis respectively representing Google, John Deere and Coca Cola.
Last but not least, the conference itself was nicely paced, under the impulsion of enthusiastic Jeremy Geelan, and with the assistance of the friendly and accessible staff of we.CONECT. They have my deepest appreciation for setting up and executing a great event.
Are you disappointed you missed IOT World USA 2016 in San Diego? Perhaps you were busy in Barcelona? Well, the event is coming back in Berlin in April and splitting in different specialty tracks (e.g. security or dev-ops) in the coming months. Needless to say, I would heartily recommend these events to my esteemed industry of things counterparts and colleagues, fellow ng Connect members, and experts of our newly formed IoT Community.
Finally, I cannot resist mentioning my three takeaways (and questions), that I will be developing in future posts:
- IoT is all about People, even though it was made pretty clear that things are not people
- Is marketing, as a notion or as a business function, still relevant?
- Can we succeed without a collective drive, and who should lead? The Internet of Things holds many promises for our planet. Can we realize them?
We at ng Connect and Nokia will certainly try! It is an exciting time for all of us. I am convinced that great things will come out of our IoT Community.