See you in Barcelona!

I just found out my travel has been approved for IBM’s Transaction & Messaging Technical Conference coming up this November in Barcelona!  I seem to have inherited ownership of the High Availability presentation which I certainly do not mind.  I am also expanding the WebSphere MQ Security presentation into separate Basic and an Advanced sessions.  The Basic session still covers securing administrative access to the queue manager.  The Advanced session will look at user and application security and include such things as application isolation, message-level authentication, B2B interfaces and so on.  I had to agree to present three sessions to get approval, but after two years it really was time for an update to the security slides anyway.

My family (and to a certain extent my management and colleagues) seem to think these trips are glamorous or working vacations.  But giving at least two sessions each of three different presentations takes a lot of time.  There is some prep work before the session, invariably questions and answers in the hallway afterward.  At IMPACT 2008 they also had “meet the experts” sessions where the presenters manned booths where conference attendees were free to wander in and out and ask technical questions or just say hello.  This was a lot of fun and I’m hoping they have something similar at the T&M.  And, as Louis Suarez and Matt Simpson noted in the Sweettt podcast, the value in these conferences is more in the social networking than the technical skills.  So when I’m not presenting or attending sessions, I’m trying to meet and talk with other attendees.  If time permits (and not too jet lagged), I’ll squeeze in a few hours of sightseeing Sunday before the conference.  But other than that, I expect I’ll barely have time to sleep.

I only mention this because when I get excited about the European T&M conferences people assume it’s because it’s in Europe and I’ll be off doing the tourist thing half the week.  But this assumption is misplaced.  What I’m excited about is the conference and the people!  If someone told me I could only be in the conference center while I was presenting and the rest of the time I had to be taking in the local sights, it would drive me crazy.  I wouldn’t go.

So if you will be attending the Barcelona T&M conference in November, look me up while you are there and say “hi”.  After all, you are the reason I’m there.

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3 Responses to See you in Barcelona!

  1. LM Demey says:

    Hi T.Rob,
    I was in Vienna last year, and I will be in Barcelona (just booked my train this morning).
    I thing european people ask less questions during the show as a kind of respect for the presenter, the timing, and the audience.
    Also keep in mind than in Europe here is much less english-fluent people than in US … and it’s not easy to chat for us.
    So there is a chance that you will have the same kind of audience in Barcelona than in Vienna.
    See you soon, LMD.

  2. T.Rob says:

    Hi Matt, does that hold true in Europe? When I presented in Vienna last year I was surprised by the difference in the audience. They were VERY reserved and asked no questions during the session so I ran out of material about 10 minutes early. There were no questions at the end so I thanked the crowd and ended the session. Afterwards I was mobbed with individual questions. Big difference from the interaction I am used to with American audiences and it caught me by surprise. I like your idea…can it work in Barcelona? Or is this a question for Louis?

  3. Matt Simpson says:

    Hi T. Rob. Over an above the social networking between sessions, personally, I find that the social networking inside the sessions is a tremendous opportunity. Following what I call the “50:50 Rule” (which is soon to be discussed in a podcast @ ) a presenter only has to do half of the work. As a result, the value of their session is magnified by four.

    The old style of presenting required you to fill the time slot with presentation material & delivery. The new style (not so new) respecting the maximum opportunity to share knowledge, would have the presenter only presenting 50% of the time. The rest of the time you reserve to facilitate the best possible conversation among those in the room. The audience will love you for it. They want to have a discussion; especially after traveling all that way. The last thing the audience wants is to be strapped to their chair, gagged, and told to just listen.


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