The Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston 2010: Lots To See And Do

I’ve been attending (and speaking) at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston since before it was called that (years ago, it used to be called the Collaborative Technologies Conference.)  It remains the only must-attend event in the enterprise social software space for a number of reasons.  It’s not that there aren’t plenty of good Enterprise 2.0 conferences out there that compete, there certainly are. Yet none of them has quite achieved the iconic status of the Boston edition of the event, which has gone on in the last year to spawn West Coast and online instances.  I look forward to it every year and this year is no exception.

For those not tracking it, this year’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference, being held at the Westin Boston Waterfront as usual, will kick off next Monday and run June 14th through the 17th, with the first day being workshop day and the next 3 days being the main conference.  As of this writing, I think it’s still possible to register here if you’d like to attend, but I would not delay.

I mentioned that there are a number of reasons why I believe this is the event if you are serious about enterprise social computing today.  Here they are:

  • The people.  If there is someone you’d like to catch up with or get to know in the Enterprise 2.0 community, this just about the best place to do it, since virtually everyone in the industry will be there.  And it’s not just well-known bloggers.  Real live practitioners who are implementing E2.0 are in attendance more than any other event I know of.  Or perhaps you’d like to catch up with a particular E2.0 vendor. There’s a very good chance you can talk to the actual founder or product manager of your favorite enterprise social tool or service; a great many of them will be on the show floor, on panels, or roaming the halls. The informal Enterprise 2.0 “lobby-con”, the endless parade of well-known faces in the main foyer outside the conference area, is also invariably both amazing and useful.  It’s a literal who’s who of the E2.0 industry. Last but not least, this year’s outstanding speaker list stands on its own.  In the end, half the value of the conference — in my book anyway — is because of who is attending that you can actually meet and speak with.
  • The content.  The conference has always been a good mix of basic and advanced content as well as sessions that try hard to tap into the zeitgeist (last year, microblogging and Twitter were all the rage, this year we will have to see, though I think the debate about E2.0 pilots as well as ROI discussions will be big.)  The workshops are also top-notch.  Note that my colleague Susan Scrupski of the 2.0 Adoption Council and I are going head-to-head with our workshops on the first day so it’ll be a tough pick for attendees. If you’re just looking to get up to speed on social collaboration or are looking to sharpen the saw of your existing expertise, the event has four full days of hard-to-make choices of content.  There’s even a technology track this year that focuses on the details of implementation.
  • The history. News and industry reputations are often made at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference.  Companies frequently save up their best announcements of the year for June in Boston.  You can see a preview of some of them here and it’s already quite a list.  Finally, there’s nothing like seeing Andrew McAfee or Ross Mayfield get up on stage (the two folks instrumental to the term itself) and call it like it is.

So, I’ll be there the whole week this time (usually I cannot stay for the entire event due to my travel and speaking schedule), and I’m very much looking forward to catching up with what everyone is doing.  I’ll also be speaking three times at the event, details below.  My popular workshop on implementing Enterprise 2.0 has been extensively updated for 2010 with our latest research, hands-on lessons learned, and new insights. I’m hoping that you’ll make it, it’s usually one of the most packed events at the show, though I do think Susan will give me a run for my money this year.  I am also hoping to move forward the discussions about Social Business and taking the next steps in the strategic big thinking about the social enterprise.

Dion Hinchcliffe’s Enterprise 2.0 Conference Boston 2010 Speaking Schedule

Implementing Enterprise 2.0: Exploring the Tools and Techniques of Emergent Change – #e2conf-2Monday, June 14, 2010, 8:30 AM-11:45 AM

This workshop provides an in-depth overview of the state of Enterprise 2.0 from grassroots, emergent collaboration to large-scale social media strategy. Designed for beginners to the subject as well as experienced Enterprise 2.0 practitioners, this tutorial will provide an up-to-date introduction to the material as well as a detailed exploration of the major planks of the subject matter as it is circa-2010. Lessons learned from the last 5 years of Enterprise 2.0 will be presented including best practices, case studies, new techniques, the tool/vendor landscape, and much more in a highly informative and participatory environment.

For detailed information on this workshop, click here. Establishing ROI for Enterprise 2.0 – Imperative or Irrelevant? – #e2conf-43 Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 3:30 PM-4:30 PM

CIO surveys show that Enterprise 2.0 technologies  are high on Enterprise IT priorities. However, a recent survey of CIOs by the 2.0 Adoption Council shows that over 80% of CIOs have not been able to establish an ROI for E2.0 technologies. This is reflected in the widely varying pricing models of most E2.0 vendors, ranging from $3 per user to 100’s of thousands of dollars for enterprise licenses. Value based pricing for E2.0 software requires a clear ROI measure. Contrast that with existing spend on E1.0 technologies in the enterprise, where clear value is reflected in healthy IT budgets.  However, many E2.0 vendors avoid the “ROI” topic.  Why the dissonance? Moderator Dion Hinchcliffe (ZDnet’s Enterprise Web 2.0 Blog) and panel submitter Jitendra Kavathekar CEO of Twiki, Inc, put together a power house panel to discuss this important topic.Delivery Strategies: The Road Ahead – #e2conf-47 Thursday, June 17, 2010, 10:45 AM-11:45 AM Shared, socialized knowledge, in the hands of employees and partners, will forever change the way we do business. But simply buying tools won’t bring the transformation we want.

In this final session, the chairs of the Delivery Strategies track come together to discuss where enterprise application integration is going. We’ll look at emerging platforms, changes in mobility, and trends in internal and external connectivity to understand how IT tools are fundamentally changing companies. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of what businesses must do to ensure that technology initiatives deliver on the promises they make.

We’ll also have a great deal of the Dachis Group team there, including Jeff Dachis himself.  Please send me an e-mail if you’d like to get in touch or meet at the conference. I will also keep my Twitter feed full of news and pictures from the event if you can’t make it. Hope to see you there!

Disclaimer: I’m on the conference board of both the Enterprise 2.0 Conference as well as the Enterprise 2.0 SUMMIT, so any opinions expressed here are entirely biased!

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