From Amazon re:Invent to Dreamforce, I've attended just about every major U.S. IT conference at least once over the past decade. So which "events" will I absolutely attend in 2015? Here's my thought process so far.
First, a qualifier: After spending the past decade as a road warrior, I disappeared from the IT conference scene around May 2014 -- and largely unplugged from the grid. I resurfaced with my business partner, Amy Katz, when we co-launched After Nines Inc. in September 2014.
Yes, I'll likely get back on the road at some point in 2015. And yes, the journey will include some familiar IT events. But I'm also looking to shake things up a bit -- while enforcing a newfound life-work balance. My shortlist of must-attend events for the year includes...
5. Google Zeitgeist 2015: This is not a cloud conference. And it's not a Google product conference at all. Instead, it's a gathering of the world's top intellectuals and leaders -- including current and former presidents and dignitaries from around the world. A mentor of mine, Gary Bolles, has been instrumental in shaping the event for the past decade or so. I doubt I can score an official invite. But a shameless shout out here may help my cause...
4. ACA Summit: Hosted by the Angel Capital Association (April 14-16, San Diego). Some of the top angel investors are set to attend. I don't really fit that description, but I'm curious to know where angels are putting their money. We all know about the big four IT waves (cloud, mobile, social, big data). At the ACA, I'm willing to bet the next waves emerge.
3. SuperReturn U.S. 2015: A top U.S. private equity and venture capital event. Set for June 15-18 in Boston. Not as flashy as the ACA event. But located in Amy's back yard. So I hope to make the trip.
2. Game On: Anything involving my sons on a lacrosse or football field. And I'd also like to drive to the Boston area at least once to see Amy's daughter compete in a swimming competition.
1. Star Wars Episode VII: J.J. Abrams rewrites and reboots George Lucas's bug-ridden franchise. I'm betting it will be a great end-user experience. Don't bother calling me on Dec. 18, 2015. I'll be with about 5 million other geeks that day -- on line (not online) for the big premiere. And yes, my sons will be on line with me. With a little luck, we'll even drag my wife along for the ride as well.
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