If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you may have noticed a little shout out from me mid-August:
Pretty cool, right? You’re forgiven for not 100% understanding what this means – if I’m being honest I don’t 100% understand it myself.
I’ve been invited and now am a participant in a private Slack instance, for the folks in the Predictioneer program and folks at IBM. I have access to the full featured professional level of their Watson Analytics toolbox (more Posts about this soon – it’s a really interesting piece of work, and is something I’m still learning about in big ways).
Most interestingly, I’m also headed to IBM’s World of Watson event later this month in Las Vegas – check this thing out, y’all. A 20,000 person conference. What?!
There is going to be an awful lot happening at this event – there are almost 1,500 different sessions, speakers, and workshops to attend. For the record, take a look at this speaker page. Kindly do note that there is a Philosophy Professor in the mix!
We can find some more context around what will actually be happening in Vegas in this letter that IBM provides to convince your boss to send you to this conference (really!):
IBM World of Watson in Las Vegas, October 24-27, 2016, formerly IBM Insight, is a great opportunity for me to engage with thought leaders and experts.
I’ve reviewed the details for this event and believe that the knowledge and connections I would gain would be highly beneficial to our organization.
This event delivers unmatched value for all things data, analytics, cloud and more. During the conference, I will be able to:
• Learn how cognitive businesses are using data science, advanced analytics and Watson to extract new insights, enhance their expertise, and exceed all expectations.
• Gain best practices and knowledge directly from IBM experts, in addition to exploring key topics like data science, advanced analytics and cognitive computing, through elective courses and innovation talks
• Preview product roadmaps and key trends and learn how they apply to our industry
• Get hands-on experience at more than 200 labs, certifications and training valued at $8,000
• Meet with experts and more than 500 IBM client speakers who are working with data and analytics in ways that could benefit us
• Choose from more than 1,500 targeted business and technical educational sessions
• Participate in hours of networking with peers from other companies facing similar challenges, all while learning tips and best practices that I can bring back to implement within our organization
I will also get the chance to explore the newest products, services, and solutions offered by IBM and 120 IBM Business Partners. This is an exceptional opportunity to experience game-changing innovations that are fueling digital transformation across our industry.
The conference will help me enhance my skills while strengthening contacts in the industry. Not to mention the fact that I’ll get critical hands-on experience with the latest cognitive solutions capable of propelling our company into the future. I will share what I learn with other members of our team so we will all benefit from this event.
I’ve started to put together my personal agenda for my time there – there is no shortage of sessions on customer behavior, collecting customer data, and finding ways to leverage that into doing business better – but after a conversation with my Mastermind group, I wanted to reach out to you all, folks who are aware of my approach and my thinking, and see what you would want to see me bring home from this event.
After all, I think it’s fairly plain what IBM hopes to see from me – social engagement at the event, blogging, and bringing the Whippersnapper Startup Mindset to the table.
I know what I’m hoping to find at the event – lessons from Big Businesses that I can bring home to Automattic. Working in tech today does mean some amount of hubris, some amount of echo-chamber, small-tribe thinking – but the fact is, these big businesses are big for good reasons. I’m hoping to find the Venn diagram piece that fits my work today, and get ahead of the curve for tomorrow.
What I don’t know is what you all might like to see – I’d like to write quite a lot during and following this event, and having a better idea what you, the folks reading my blog, are interested in, means I can bring the best stuff here.
What interests you when it comes to the intersection of Data and Support / Success? What do you think we could be doing better? What part of AI do you think will be impactful for our work? Should I focus on bots? On the Internet of Things? Maybe something else altogether!
Please let me know in the comments! I’ll also be seeking the same feedback on Twitter, so if that’s your preference, definitely reach out!