Thursday, March 22, 2012

5 Reasons you must attend Business of Software 2012

I like to attend conferences, big ones like Microsoft TechEd, or their Professional Developers Conference (PDC), but I really like the small ones too such as MobileX Cincy, but so far my favorite small conference (if 360 attendees can be considered small), is the Business of Software Conference.  Last year, 2011 was my first year attending, and as a lightning talk speaker my registration was free, but I will definitely be attending again in 2012 even if I have to pay this year.  Here are my top 5 reasons, in order, you must attend. But keep in mind, this is not a technology conference, it's truly about the "Business of Software".

#1  The Speakers

Not only do they schedule excellent speakers, such as, but not limited to Joel Spolsky (Fogcreek), Dharmesh Shah (Hubspot), Peldi (Balsamiq) and Noam Wasserman.  But all the speakers are eminently accessible after their talk and throughout the conference.  Honestly I can't even pick my favorites from the 15 presenters last year, they were all great, and they cover a diverse range of topics.

#2  The Attendees

Let's face it the only thing that differentiates the presenters from the attendees for the most part is that they have the courage to get up and speak.  As much learning goes on between the sessions through interaction between the attendees. They come from far and wide, representing startups and large companies, engineering, marketing and sales and they all are willing to share and learn.

#3  The Hosts

OK being English I have to be supportive of the two hosts, Mark Littlewood (The Business Leaders Network) and Neil Davidson (Redgate Software).  Mark is one of those singularly rare examples of an extrovert Brit, and hard to miss at the event via his rather noticeable shirt choices.  Neil gives the excellent recital of a Theodore Roosevelt speech at 4:45 in the video below.  In addition all of the event staff are incredibly helpful.

#4  The Band

I believe 2011 was the first year they invited attendees and speakers to form an ad-hoc band to perform at the party held at Whisky Priest in Boston.  Personally I was not confident enough in my keyboard playing skills to contribute in 2011, but maybe I will in 2012.  Either way there some very talented musicians in attendance including renewed Jazz performer Josh Linkner of Detroit Venture Partners.

#5  The Location

Put simply what's not to like about Boston?  The conference facility at the Seaport World Trade Center was excellent, and in 2012 they are moving to an even larger facility but staying in Boston.

So I expect to see you there in 2012, to register visit the Business of Software registration website. I hope I am not the lone representative from Cincinnati in 2012, and if you are going let me know, or track me down at the event.  Finally the video below gives you a sense of just what the conference is like, and yes that is me "The Alien Entrepreneur" at 2:45.

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