TechStringy Interview – Tech Conferences, are they worth it?

I’ve just come back from NetApp’s Insight technical conference in Berlin, and like many in the IT industry I get invited to lots of these events. I’m sure we all do and some of them we attend some we don’t. Attending a conference though begs the question;

Are they worth attending at all?

I think that’s a fair question, personally I always find something useful at these events and NetApp Insight is amongst my favourites, always a great mix of content, networking and a chance to catch up with old friends and of course make some new ones.

That’s all fine for me, someone working in the technology industry, but what about people who actually use the stuff, those who invest their businesses hard earned money in deploying technology, is there benefit in investing more money in attending these large vendor led  conferences?

With that in mind while out at Insight, I thought I’d ask that very question, So on the last day I got time with two NetApp (And Gardner Systems) customers at the event, Mark Waterfield of Gardner Aerospace and Jon Woan of Vital Energi (, both use NetApp extensively across their businesses, alongside a wide range of other technologies. This was Marks first visit to this event, while Jon was a returning attendee.wp_20161114_09_09_12_rich_li

They were also joined by my colleague Jason Fitzgerald as the three of them gave their views on technology conferences in general, did they think this one was worth attending, would they come again and what advice did they have for people considering similar investments to attend tech conferences.

I hope you enjoy the podcast, if you want to find out more about my views on Insight check this week for a full round up.

If you want to keep up with the guests on the podcast you can find Jon Woan on Twitter @jonwoan and Jason Fitzgerald on the twitters @jay_fitzgerald

Enjoy the episode


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