Today registration has opened for the conference known as Connect 2017. Connect in Orlando wasn’t anything more than a rename of Lotusphere but although this bears the same name it’s very far from being the same event. Connect 2017 is taking place in Moscone West in San Francisco at the end of February but that’s not the biggest change - the content, structure and even pricing is drastically different too.
Let’s start with the title and tagline. No more vague marketing phrases about what the conference is about (“pool of knowledge”) instead we have “Redefine work with Watson”. You may not know what Watson can do for you or your business yet but the conference very clearly is planning to focus on that
Then we have the tracks
Explore the promise of technologies like augmented reality, Internet of Things, blockchain, artificial intelligence and Watson, and their potential to change our work and life challenges.
So if you want to understand new technologies, things your customers are only aware of on the peripheries , if you want to understand how to position your skills and what opportunities are out there this is for you. This is definitely for me.
Strategy and Business
Discover how pioneers are addressing current trends and issues in the evolving domain of strategy and business. Led by industry speakers and leveraging case method, the track explores business challenges, approaches, and outcomes across engagement, expertise, productivity and work.
I have no idea what will appear in this track but i’m encouraged by the terms ‘industry speakers” which suggests we’ll be hearing from outside IBM
Development, Design and Tools
Delve deep into product, design and code. Build a deep understanding of products and solutions that help us redefine everyday work including Verse, Connections, Notes, Domino, Bluemix, WebEx, Toscana, Spark, Box and more.
.. I’m calling that “Best Practices” in my head.
On top of the tracks there will be “lightning talks” which sounds like pop up Ted type short sessions appearing around the conference. But what do I know.
Now we come to registration pricing and some nice new offerings
Full Conference Pass @ 1695 USD (or 100 USD less if you are an alumni) this gets you access to everything including receptions, breakfast and lunch. A Daily Conference Pass is also available at 895 USD.
Experience registration at 995 USD includes everything except the hands on labs and breakout sessions. For 995 USD you can still attend keynotes the expo and lightning sessions but if you don’t usually go to regular breakout sessions, if the conference is more of a networking than direct learning event for you, maybe the Experience registration is better.
Finally if all you want to do is visit the Expo and network you could opt for Discover Connect at only 89 USD per day.
Take a look at the registration options here. I’m hoping IBM will allow upgrades from one level to the next but I can’t find any confirmation of that right now.