From my blog post title, you rock ‘n’ roll fans might have guessed I’m psyched about hearing Aerosmith play during IBM InterConnect next week at MGM Grand’s Garden Arena. But that’s not the only cool thing going on at InterConnect. The organizers of IBM’s self-proclaimed premier cloud and mobile conference that’s taking the place of – or more like is the result of melding three popular IBM conferences, namely Impact, Innovate and Pulse – have pulled out all the stops to keep their IBMers engaged next week.
Besides the “bad boys from Boston,” InterConnect will rock in many other ways:
As if I wasn’t excited enough when I heard that Aerosmith would be playing at InterConnect, I had to pinch myself when I discovered that the conference’s organizers had also scheduled some of the judges from my current reality TV addiction, ABC’s Shark Tank, as general session guest speakers. While there’s no Mark Cuban or Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary, I can more than make do with the likes of Manhattan real-estate legend Barbara Corcoran, FUBU CEO Daymond John and software entrepreneur Robert Herjavec. All three are on the speaker circuit, but I keep dreaming they’ll try to somehow recreate an episode of the show. And for that reason, I’m in!
From Pac-Man to Mario
You gamers attending InterConnect are going to want to stop by the Community Arcade sponsored by the IBM User Community and set up at Booth 300 in the Solution Expo at Mandalay Bay. Walk through the history of video games from Pac-Man to Mario, from Nintendo 64 and Atari, to the latest cutting-edge choice in gaming – the Oculus Rift. They will also be giving away some high-tech prizes, including the latest wearable technology. But you’ll need a decoder card to power up your chances of winning.
Don’t Wanna Close My Eyes
If you gamers didn’t get your fill at the Community Arcade, InterConnect’s dev@ space located at MGM Grand will feature a real-life version of the popular app game involving “disgruntled aviaries.” Wink, wink. I can’t wait to see this. Also, you don’t want to miss the Open Talk Sessions in the dev@ space voted on by attendees, featuring IBM Cloud Foundry Chief Architect Michael Fraenkel, Virtual Websphere z/OS User Group leader Paul Hourde and AgileMentors founder Julian Holmes, just to name a few.
Living on the Edge
The dev@ space will also be home to the Developer Playground where you can step into the future and get hands-on experience with beta apps, development tools and programming challenges using new tech like Rasberry pi, NodeCopter drones and the aforementioned Oculus Rift virtual reality 3-D gaming headset.
Love in an Elevator
You’ll want to give “speed geeking” a try, which is InterConnect’s version of speed dating. Sorry romantics, if you’re looking for geek love, this is for geeks in love with and looking to learn more about new technologies via demos of the latest tools in rapid-fire succession. Get exposed to ten new things in an hour as you move, speed-dating style, from one geek to the next. Luckily at InterConnect, geek is a term of endearment.
Walk This Way
As if InterConnect didn’t have enough going on next week, the conference will also hold the IBM SmartCamp Global Finals, which is one part mentoring boot camp for startups, one part networking extravaganza and one part epic pitch competition. SmartCamp events have been taking place across the globe and the top nine finalists will compete for the title of IBM Global Entrepreneur of the Year at InterConnect.
Like any IBM conference, much less one taking the place of three popular ones, InterConnect has a ton of interesting sessions and keynotes. From “Reinventing Value with the Internet of Things” and “Unlock the Transformational Value of Your Mobile Apps” to “Cloud DevOps Analytics” and “Accelerating Hybrid with Cloud Infrastructure and IT Optimization,” there’s a session for everyone no matter your interests. I know I’ll be in my fair share.
Don’t Miss Global Knowledge at InterConnect
InterConnect is a big conference, and we’re going to be there in a big way. Stop by Booth #800 in the Solutions Expo to learn more about our IBM Cloud and Information Management training. We’re also sponsoring the Certification Test Center and Hands-On Lab Center at InterConnect.