The Business of Software conference is happening in October 2010 in Boston. You will see lots of postings telling you good reasons to go. Yes, the Speakers list looks pretty impressive, and I have even heard of some of them! It would be cool to meet these people in person but lets face it, the videos will be posted on Youtube eventually… Most conferences are a total waste of time – you just sit there tweeting and surfing the Internet. Why bother???
Well, for starters, it is in Boston. It is one of the most beautiful cities in the USA, especially in the Autumn and it has something for everyone – food, history, shops, entertainment, sport…
Walk over to the boating on the Lake in Central Park and see if you can remember which films it was in (my kids tell me it was definitely in the Parent Trap with Hayley Mills).
Give my regards to the Penguins at the Aquarium. They look even better in real life.
Go down to MIT or Harvard and dream (or hire some staff maybe).
The Boston Redsox are playing the New York Yankees at home.
Pop over to the Kennedy Library or jump on the train down to Salem to hunt down some witches.
Maybe just get a photograph of you outside the Cheers Bar.
And the conference helpfully starts on Sunday night so you obviously need to fly out on the friday night to ‘prepare’ (ie spend the weekend chilling out in Boston).
So, that’s the weekend taken care of – what about the actual conference? What I think makes the conference different is that it is not organised by professional conference organizers. It is very competently done but it can’t make much of a profit – all those free drinks, there are usually lots of books and other freebies. Remember the empty suitcase to bring them all home in! Maybe the organizers feel guilty about making so much money the rest of the year that they feel they need to give some back, but who am I to complain?
It is also very different meeting people in the flesh and hearing the speakers live – the videos posted are good but only give a pale feel of what it is like to attend. There has been a real buzz in the years I have attended and you will leave exhausted but full of ideas.
The most important reason to go there, however, is that you will find 300 of the brightest people in the Software industry are also going to be there. It is your chance to meetup with lots of other people who might be potential clients or customers, but who will definitely have lots of valuable experience to share with you, even if it is only to reassure you that times are tough.
See you in Boston!