Making connections at IBM Connect 2016

IBM Connect 2016

In a few short days, I’ll be taking part in my first IBM Connect event, IBM’s annual social business conference and expo that attracts business partners, clients, exhibitors, IBMers and more. It’s my first public outing, as it were, since I joined IBM at the beginning of January.

And what an event to be part of!

IBM Connect 2016 takes place in Orlando, Florida, from January 31 to February 3 – four days of experiences to listen, learn, discuss and connect with people, ideas and opportunities.

The event offers participants a huge menu of choice:

  • Discover how social collaboration and digital experience can integrate with, and transform, even the most mundane business processes into engaging, social and smarter processes
  • Hear how social and digital experience technologies are using cloud and hybrid cloud, analytics, mobile, and security capabilities to drive rapid ROI and deeper engagement, and minimize risk and disruption
  • See the latest IBM social and digital experience technology roadmaps
  • Learn from experience by talking to other leaders about how they’re using IBM solutions to drive real business results
  • Schedule one-on-one time with IBM business and technology executives

‘Social’ is very much everyone’s watchword these days so I’m looking forward to gaining a fuller view on how and where that word fits in the breadth of IBM’s services and solutions and how clients see it: there will be plenty of case studies and use examples.

Connect 2016 mobile appFor my own part, it’s a terrific opportunity for me to get up to greater speed on the wider IBM picture – both from the tech and business perspectices  – and how my part of the organization (Social Consulting) synchronizes with the relevant parts of the business.

I expect to have plenty of opportunity to make connections and get to know more new colleagues.

The overall programme of events is huge, with over 150 sessions including more than 90 client sessions and 45+ best practice sessions. Connect 2016 embraces the IBM Business Partner Summit – with guest keynote speaker Brian Solis – the CIO Summit, and a very special event – a visit to Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

I can see magic happening!

There’s even IBM Chef Watson doing his (Is Watson a he? She?) magic with pretzels.

So I’ve done my initial prep and built my own event schedule that created my agenda for what I want to do and see during much of my time at Connect 2016. The event website, in tandem with the nifty mobile app (for iOS and Android), makes it very easy indeed to keep on top of the many things you want to do and people you want to connect with.

One thing I plan to do is record and publish some brief narratives on my thoughts on what I see and hear during many of the sessions as audio podcasts on my AudioBoom channel, each probably between 5 and 10 minutes long.

Take a listen to this intro for a bit more info on that:

I also expect to do some vox pops with colleagues and maybe some clients. And, of course, tweeting from  my @jangles handle. Follow the hashtag #IBMConnect for wide commentary from the event, and the official Connect 2016 Twitter handle @IBMConnect for the inside takes.

So it will be an exciting week next week in a part of the USA that generally is a bit warmer than Blighty at the moment.

Let me know if you plan to be there, and let’s connect.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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