Episode 27 – The Balkanization of Tech Conferences and the Long Tail of SWAG

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Inspired by  Jimmy Ray Purser’s perspective on how vendors now seem to run the technology trade show circuit, your humble Geek Whisperers tackle the topic of neutrality at conferences and all that goes with it.


We were thrilled to be joined by incredibly intelligent Technologist and frequent event attendee Jay Cuthrell.

We end the day with some questions we’d love you to answer:

  • What are you attending?
  • What aren’t you attending?
  • What is your favorite conference and why?

And without further ado, here is the unedited conversation we had during the show.

[11/1/13 3:10:20 PM] Amy Lewis:
[11/1/13 3:12:06 PM] John Troyer: Vendors
Varrow Madness, etc.
Open Stack
Neckbeards – communities of practice
Industry Associations
Structure, Velocity
Gartner, Constellation, … Investment Analysts
Truth in IT
Gatherings of Love
Good Second-Tier Conferences
IT Summit, Business partner thing
Crappy Second-Tier Commercial Conferences
Sell you out
[11/1/13 3:12:35 PM] Jay Cuthrell: The Balkanization of Tech Conferences and the Long Tail of SWAG
[11/1/13 3:14:13 PM] Matthew Brender: You must have social at events, but do you have to have events to have social?
[11/1/13 3:15:50 PM] Jay Cuthrell: You can lead a techie to a bar but you cannot make them pay for drinks.
[11/1/13 3:26:33 PM] John Troyer: It turns out i have no idea where we’re going
[11/1/13 3:32:57 PM] Amy Lewis: Projected outcomes: peer learning/training, sales (aka trade show), smart people/thought leadership
[11/1/13 3:33:07 PM] Amy Lewis: Which events work?
[11/1/13 3:33:33 PM] Amy Lewis: TED talks vs Real Estate Sales
[11/1/13 3:39:04 PM] Jay Cuthrell: Cloud Connect (pay to play) vs. Cloud Camp (unconference)
[11/1/13 3:46:19 PM] Jay Cuthrell:
[11/1/13 3:54:24 PM] Jay Cuthrell: The Peanut Butter Manifesto (of corporate marketing)
[11/1/13 3:54:39 PM] Jay Cuthrell: (don’t spread yourself to thin…)
[11/1/13 3:56:50 PM] Jay Cuthrell: Gordon Gekko doesn’t go to WallStreetMegaVendorWorld 2014 — “Come on pal, tell me something I don’t know”
[11/1/13 3:59:17 PM] Matthew Brender: This message has been removed.
[11/1/13 3:59:51 PM] Matthew Brender: that thumb was freaking me out..
[11/1/13 4:03:03 PM] John Troyer: final thoughts – or was that it?
[11/1/13 4:03:31 PM] Jay Cuthrell: YES YES YES YES
[11/1/13 4:03:43 PM] Jay Cuthrell: self organizing :-)
[11/1/13 4:04:07 PM] Jay Cuthrell: we’re all autonomous peers flooding our neural networks with lulz
[11/1/13 4:16:26 PM] Jay Cuthrell: there’s an eager zero thick joke in here somewhere