Another conference has come and gone and this time I had the privilege to present at the infamous Pink Elephant of 2012. I’m not sure what one is called when they make such a feat in their life, so I’m going to state that I’m now a “pinkie” in the hopes it catches on and I can gain some bragging rights. In my usual blogging fashion, I want to post a few lessons I learned from this most recent event.
- Thank you vendors: As always, I like to give praise and thanks to those dedicated road-warriors out there that not only helped to make the conference possible, but spent days away from families, hours schmoozing, and thousands on food and alcohol to make it a great conference.
- Don’t consume alcohol while in Vegas: I found out that while in Vegas, it’s plausible that the events in The Hangover could have been factual.
- If you consume alcohol, take notes on what you do: This may be the only way you remember what happened the night before.
- If you do take notes, tear up the paper: On second thought, you may not want to remember what happened.
- A big head requires a strong back: So, I was part of a team that helped bring gamification out of the buzzword zombie world and into real life. Am I proud of my accomplishments? Damn right. Do I have a big head? Absolutely. But I also say a strong back is required for two reasons. Firstly, it did take a lot of work to get here. Secondly, I know I’ll eventually get humbled. The only way to survive a good ‘ole fashioned humbling is to pick up the pieces, work to put your head back together, and carry on with an average sized one.
- Sessions were great, but networking was even better: The content at the conference was pretty good and is a great way to learn how your peers are succeeding in the ITSM industry, as well as come away with new ideas for your own organization, but the sessions eventually end. On the other hand, the people you meet and relationships you build will carry on for years to come, especially when you need help or advice later in your career. At least, this is my justification for getting little sleep and enjoying the Vegas nightlife.
- Thought leaders are people too: I had the great privilege to meet and speak with industry leaders and I found that they are more then happy to talk about their ideas, listen to yours, and give unfiltered praise and criticism. There really are no egos at the conference (except for mine).
- Vendors – it’s 2012, you really don’t need CD’s anymore: I was taken aback when I was talking to a vendor (they shall remain nameless, but I’ll say I thought of hummus when I saw their name) and the rep offered me a demo of their software on CD. Did I just enter a time warp and was now talking to AOL? I can’t remember the last time I opened the DVD drive on my computer to run such media; it’s now reserved for the original intended purpose as a coffee cup holder.
- QR codes are not replacing business cards, but Twitter might: So, I wanted to run an experiment and instead of bringing business cards, I would show a QR code on my phone to be scanned. I had two reasons for doing this. First, my organization hasn’t gotten me cards yet and this is a perfect excuse to cover it up. Second, I wanted to sound superior and state “I don’t support legacy systems.” Well, it didn’t go over too well and no one knew what to do. What was interesting though is how many times during a conversation with a newly met peer one of us would say “are you on Twitter?” and minutes later I would get the familiar message on my phone that I have a new follower. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that one.