I missed last year so I can’t compare Chicago to New Orleans but I definitely liked this year much more than 2014 in Las Vegas. I felt there was a good balance of technical and user sessions combined with a good selection of ‘start up’ growth oriented sessions. The ‘hands on’ sessions were very good which I spent much of my time in.
The vendor floor continues to grow and its nice to have a chance to see the products and the people behind them.
Kudos to whomever decided it was time to take care of us non-coffee caffeine junkies by putting the coolers around the venue filled with Coke products.
Transportation was excellent. I was concerned about this with the venue being so far away from most hotels but it was handled very well. Chicago is obviously very prepared for these large conventions in that regard.
I have to say I was not as inspired by the keynotes this year as I hoped to be. Sir Richard Branson is a hero of mine, but he has never been known as a great public speaker. The informal question / answer style that was put together did not fit him very well. I was not interested much in the other celebrity speakers as I would have much rather see someone that is shaping the future and pushing technology. Bring me someone from Tesla, Project X, Amazon, Apple, and small tech startups, as these are the people who I want to hear from.
Overall I had a very positive experience and things were run smoothly and professionally.
Roger Detzler, Consultant
WAC Solution Partners- New England