Spiceworld London 2016


  • Service Provider

    I'm booked!

    Got a discount code for early bird rate. Going to give it another shot.

    Anyone else going?


  • Service Provider

    Don't know yet but not likely. Even being free, it wasn't worth it last year. The event was well done, but the interactions didn't exist and there was just "nothing" to it. No one talked to each other and the value just wasn't there. Nothing like Austin. I might make an appearance, but it seems unlikely, even already being on this side of the pond.



  • Tempted to try and get a ticket from work - we're having a stall, and I think we're doing a talk too...


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said:

    The event was well done, but the interactions didn't exist and there was just "nothing" to it. No one talked to each other

    Apart from a few cliques who I keep seeing buddying up with each other, I had a lot of chats with different faces. And they were not vendors :O


  • Service Provider

    Some thoughts from last year.

    The keynote on encryption was "meh" - did not like the speaker. Kept going on about his books and achievements, really I would have preferred more stall time or chatting to people.

    I know all conferences do it but please stop advertising for next year. Let me enjoy this year, I don't care about your in-conference rate that expires at midnight. Let me have my in-conference rate for 2 weeks and I'll decide then.

    Some stall holders were just grumpy, disinterested. I don't get why they were there. One of them when I tried talking to them said "We sell storage systems for the 50k mark, so mainly enterprises" - But you are at a heavy duty SMB focused event?

    I think a lot of the "user" talks are very thin. Not enough meat, felt like they did it for the free conference pass as opposed adding value to the event.


  • Service Provider

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    The event was well done, but the interactions didn't exist and there was just "nothing" to it. No one talked to each other

    Apart from a few cliques who I keep seeing buddying up with each other, I had a lot of chats with different faces. And they were not vendors :O

    The total time for talking was a tiny fraction that of Austin. If you've not done Austin, I doubt you understand the level of social interaction. The London event was so much "less" both per day and in total.



  • Was going to see closer to the time see if I could get a last minute ticket off someone that can't go. Problem with having a family and a wife that only knows her shifts for work 3 weeks in advanced its hard to plan that far in the future.


  • Service Provider

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    Some stall holders were just grumpy, disinterested. I don't get why they were there. One of them when I tried talking to them said "We sell storage systems for the 50k mark, so mainly enterprises" - But you are at a heavy duty SMB focused event?

    Austin gets that, too. Lots of vendors have never heard of the community and just get sold the stall by sales people without explaining to them who the audience is or outright telling them things that are inaccurate. You get a lot of vendors there that are pretty confused or just don't care and actively shun the audience they just paid for.


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    The event was well done, but the interactions didn't exist and there was just "nothing" to it. No one talked to each other

    Apart from a few cliques who I keep seeing buddying up with each other, I had a lot of chats with different faces. And they were not vendors :O

    The total time for talking was a tiny fraction that of Austin. If you've not done Austin, I doubt you understand the level of social interaction. The London event was so much "less" both per day and in total.

    Never done Austin. But is the value high enough to warrant flights & time?


  • Service Provider

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    I think a lot of the "user" talks are very thin. Not enough meat, felt like they did it for the free conference pass as opposed adding value to the event.

    That's very true, but if you consider the audience, it makes sense. The common denominator is people who choose to use an SMB focused, free but not open tool and often need assistance with it. A huge percentage in Austin are people looking for info on and training on installing the tool. Think about what that means - it means they were unable to download and click the installer themselves or are confused by the email settings or whatever and feel that they need to attend a conference to learn about using one of the simplest, most straightforward products ever.

    So what you get is an audience mostly filtered by being: poor, tiny and non-technical. If you are struggling to install and use the helpdesk, you are not going to be interesting in a technical talk on pretty much anything as it will all be over your head. So the sessions have to be super light to be useful at all and the only things that make sense at that level are sales pitches, so that is what is done.

    Think about Cylance last year - they were shocked that they didn't feel the audience was even an IT one and changed what was supposed to be the most technical talk of the conference (ethical hacking in depth) into a "how to not download malware for grandparents" totally non-technical talk. They had expected an IT convention of technical people but almost no one they talked to was technical enough for a technical talk, they thought (and mostly were correct.)


  • Service Provider

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    Never done Austin. But is the value high enough to warrant flights & time?

    Value is dramatically different than London. London I would question attending even if I lived in town and had zero costs. Just showing up might not be worth the time. Austin I fly in from wherever for and schedule my year around. So is there enough value for you, can't say. But I put the value of London near zero and the value of Austin decently high.



  • @Breffni-Potter said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    The event was well done, but the interactions didn't exist and there was just "nothing" to it. No one talked to each other

    Apart from a few cliques who I keep seeing buddying up with each other, I had a lot of chats with different faces. And they were not vendors :O

    The total time for talking was a tiny fraction that of Austin. If you've not done Austin, I doubt you understand the level of social interaction. The London event was so much "less" both per day and in total.

    Never done Austin. But is the value high enough to warrant flights & time?

    @Breffni-Potter I think it would depend on what you were valuing. If you're looking at going to a tech conference and a chance to meet vendors I think it would be a terrible value. This is what I found at SWL last year. As a tech conference and a chance to connect with vendors it was a waste of time. The sessions are either marketing crap or technical fluff. The vendors would be US oriented and unacquainted with what it is like to work in the SMB outside of the states. If you're going to meet other IT professionals, network, and have a good time with peers that you've never met in person, it is a good value. I mostly had a good time in London last year, and some of it was talking with vendors, but it was never about the vendors products. [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc., were all great people, not just sales drones. I think that is one of the differences at SWA. There are more person to person interactions with vendors and Spiceworks staff, and not just a booth crawl.


  • Service Provider

    @Kelly said:

    There are more person to person interactions with vendors and Spiceworks staff, and not just a booth crawl.

    there is an epic booth crawl, but those of us in the know just skip that. I don't visit the booths t all.



  • I guess these events are great for networking but unfortunately networking isn't a skill I've ever managed to master.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Kelly said:

    There are more person to person interactions with vendors and Spiceworks staff, and not just a booth crawl.

    there is an epic booth crawl, but those of us in the know just skip that. I don't visit the booths t all.

    I meant that the interactions consist of more than just the booth crawl.


  • Service Provider

    @Kelly said:

    @Breffni-Potter I think it would depend on what you were valuing. If you're looking at going to a tech conference and a chance to meet vendors I think it would be a terrible value.

    Meeting vendors works really well. You just have to know how to do it. At the conference proper (all there is in London) or the "no talking" official events you get almost no chance to talk. If you go with the crowds to the unofficial events, you get tons of access to vendors with time to talk.


  • Service Provider

    @Kelly said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Kelly said:

    There are more person to person interactions with vendors and Spiceworks staff, and not just a booth crawl.

    there is an epic booth crawl, but those of us in the know just skip that. I don't visit the booths t all.

    I meant that the interactions consist of more than just the booth crawl.

    Not the official ones :)



  • @Carnival-Boy said:

    I guess these events are great for networking but unfortunately networking isn't a skill I've ever managed to master.

    I wondered about this before my first SpiceWorld, but I realized that it was more like meeting up with friends I'd never met in person before. I wasn't networking. I was just hanging out.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Kelly said:

    @Breffni-Potter I think it would depend on what you were valuing. If you're looking at going to a tech conference and a chance to meet vendors I think it would be a terrible value.

    Meeting vendors works really well. You just have to know how to do it. At the conference proper (all there is in London) or the "no talking" official events you get almost no chance to talk. If you go with the crowds to the unofficial events, you get tons of access to vendors with time to talk.

    I was responding specifically to @Breffni-Potter's question about the value to him. As a UK based MSP, American sales reps aren't going to provide him much, if any, value.



  • I heard there was a conference in upstate NY that would be a great way to network and be introduced to technical topics. :P


  • Service Provider

    @Kelly said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Kelly said:

    @Breffni-Potter I think it would depend on what you were valuing. If you're looking at going to a tech conference and a chance to meet vendors I think it would be a terrible value.

    Meeting vendors works really well. You just have to know how to do it. At the conference proper (all there is in London) or the "no talking" official events you get almost no chance to talk. If you go with the crowds to the unofficial events, you get tons of access to vendors with time to talk.

    I was responding specifically to @Breffni-Potter's question about the value to him. As a UK based MSP, American sales reps aren't going to provide him much, if any, value.

    I don't know if that is true. Most of the ones at the UK event are American ones anyway. Katie and Richard are US based. Brian from Scale is German and does the US events, that isn't an issue here. I think the country basis isn't as big as you'd think. AetherStore is nearly 100% European staff.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Kelly said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @Kelly said:

    @Breffni-Potter I think it would depend on what you were valuing. If you're looking at going to a tech conference and a chance to meet vendors I think it would be a terrible value.

    Meeting vendors works really well. You just have to know how to do it. At the conference proper (all there is in London) or the "no talking" official events you get almost no chance to talk. If you go with the crowds to the unofficial events, you get tons of access to vendors with time to talk.

    I was responding specifically to @Breffni-Potter's question about the value to him. As a UK based MSP, American sales reps aren't going to provide him much, if any, value.

    I don't know if that is true. Most of the ones at the UK event are American ones anyway. Katie and Richard are US based. Brian from Scale is German and does the US events, that isn't an issue here. I think the country basis isn't as big as you'd think. AetherStore is nearly 100% European staff.

    Perhaps not. However, what I stated reflects my experience at SWL. With the exception of the vendors that were primarily US based, they either weren't interested in engaging or weren't capable of reframing their information. I was actually interested in the offerings from one vendor who was international, but despite asking them to put me in contact with a local sales rep I kept getting UK regionalised information and pricing.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Breffni-Potter said:

    Some stall holders were just grumpy, disinterested. I don't get why they were there. One of them when I tried talking to them said "We sell storage systems for the 50k mark, so mainly enterprises" - But you are at a heavy duty SMB focused event?

    Austin gets that, too. Lots of vendors have never heard of the community and just get sold the stall by sales people without explaining to them who the audience is or outright telling them things that are inaccurate. You get a lot of vendors there that are pretty confused or just don't care and actively shun the audience they just paid for.

    That was the case for Cylance - they only sell to 250+ seat places.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Kelly said:

    @Breffni-Potter I think it would depend on what you were valuing. If you're looking at going to a tech conference and a chance to meet vendors I think it would be a terrible value.

    Meeting vendors works really well. You just have to know how to do it. At the conference proper (all there is in London) or the "no talking" official events you get almost no chance to talk. If you go with the crowds to the unofficial events, you get tons of access to vendors with time to talk.

    Except there were very few unofficial ones. And everything in London closes up so early. @scottalanmiller and I who are so familiar with SWA were pretty bored at night :P



  • @coliver said:

    I heard there was a conference in upstate NY that would be a great way to network and be introduced to technical topics. :P

    Thank you @coliver!


  • Service Provider

    @Minion-Queen said:

    @coliver said:

    I heard there was a conference in upstate NY that would be a great way to network and be introduced to technical topics. :P

    Thank you @coliver!

    Except the cost of said conference is much higher due to the time & travel expenses required. So thanks but no thanks :)



  • Oh I understand :(


  • Service Provider

    I won't be going to MangoCon for the same reason I won't be going to Austin :P



  • I think it's still worth going to spiceworld London.

    As far as content goes, for an IT tech conference, you get a lot of interesting talsk and not always from vendors. The drill is stil the same, ie vendors flussing things up, but I find it interesting depending on the projects that you are involved in you can always make some good conversation. Most of vendors are pretty nice @Lenovo - unitrends - cyberoam - webroot etc .. you ll always get some annoying one ..

    In terms of value for money .. you get decent food, decent swag and a good free booze party ... I don t think is all that bad.. :)

    I can't compare it the Austin one but as a UK venue it's not all that bad ... will need to find the time to come over the pond and sample the Austin one ..I hope soon ...

    Stef



  • If you're looking for a great tech conference in London check out BSides. It runs along InfoSec typically and as such is a security focused conference. Very few vendors to get in the way (5-10 maybe) and everyone talks to everyone at the breaks.

    Problem with this conf though is trying to get a ticket. Supplies are very limited.


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