Live-ish at Spiceworld 2016! This is my second year here, and the energy of this conference is just as astonishing the second time around. Our Austin neighbors at Spiceworks obviously make a great product that pleases their customers, because guys and gals show up here with bright faces that beam with positive energy about a normally frustrating job.
Overall there seem to be two clear themes this year that have expanded since last year. Nearly 80% of the booths focus on one of two value propositions:
- Security and Continuity
- _____ as-a-Service
What’s funny is that the combination of these two things is kind of a self-fulfilling IT prophecy!
- First, buying a hosted service. This could be mobile, platform, infrastructure, communications, etc. The list goes on.
- Second, buying security and backup as said services have now increased your exposure to more attacks.
- Third, rinse and repeat! Go back to step #1 for the next technology.
However, the benefits of Step #1 far outweigh the costs. You get better productivity, reliable systems without the overhead, and because everything is a subscription, you are no longer tied to any one decision – you can change at any time!
Interesting Sights (or Sites)
Best Booth – AlienVault for sure. AlienVault is another one of our Austin neighbors, and these guys know how to party! Not did they have a cool booth with a trailer and a neon sign, but they had great engagement. Traffic was non-stop due to their interactive Bingo game, margaritas (it was after 12pm, so yeah), and friendly booth staff.
Clear Booth Theme – Gotta be Game of Thrones. I love it, but I can’t help feeling the timing is off. Show me a Westworld booth! However, I did see two “thrones” made out of IT paraphernalia, so I can’t say it’s all bad. One “throne” was made of power supplies, and the other was build with server husks and parts. Hat tip to y’all for making those great props, though a little dated!
Best Giveaway – This was a tough one. I love the NEC light up sword and the Time Warner toy Basketball hoop, but I have to go with the nerdy winner – the RAM socks from Micron.
Full disclosure, I attended the IT Marketer track, and not the IT Pro track. I know, I know, but I do kind of have to stay true to my job title of Product Marketing Manager here. Although, I did poke my head in on some of the IT Pro presentations. I just couldn’t help myself.
Overall, the presentations were great, and I learned a lot. Plus, the feedback I heard when speaking to folks on the IT Pros track really confirmed that all of the presentations were excellent (not just the ones I was lucky enough to see).
IT Pro Review
Warning: This review is based on hearsay.
Not only is it really interesting content that probably applies to nearly everyone, it is also an awesome title. Also, the tools for VLAN management are becoming a lot simpler, so there really isn’t a reason you should be making a VLAN, at the very least for your communication technologies.
This one I liked because I personally love the idea of everyone using scripts. They really are like the Spice of Arrakis because they are super valuable, addictive, can make you a more effective worker, and may cause time-travel hallucinations (although that last one might not be true). As an Electrical Engineer, programming is close to my heart, and scripts are something like programming snacks for the everyman. The Snickers™ mini-bar of engineering, if you will.
Best Marketing Presentation
I have seen some great presentations from professional speakers this year. However, this one is my favorite so far. Jay Baer’s presentation makes a strong case for second. His new book, “Hug your Haters” has some great insights on how Customer Experience can dramatically impact your business. My favorite insight was the KLM story of Sherlock the dog. So good, and cute.
Basically, by 2020, a majority of the B2B buying decision will be based on customer experience. And not just the experience with your product, the experience new customers have with other existing customers on social media and review sites. The presentation and the book are full of insights into how you can make Customer Experience and support a competitive advantage for your company. I highly recommend that you attend or buy the book if you can.
Also, as a sidenote, there was a really good presentation on how to write technical content that involved my friend and IT content expert, Justin Ong. Check out his work at Spiceworks, it’s all good to read.
SpiceWorks SpiceWorld In a Nut
Overall, it was excellent. Plus. I got to meet so many of the weird and wonderful IT Pros in the world. It’s difficult to try to explain our audience (you know who you are) to people who haven’t worked with them before, so I will just leave you with these actual photos and videos from the SpiceWorks Instagram Feed. Enjoy!
Here you can create the content that will be used within the module.
Thanks for reading! If you saw anything we missed at SpiceWorld, feel free to use the comments section below! We would love to hear what you experienced, and how you would rate the conference overall.