eComm 2009 - sort of like going to Wrigley Field

I can see why you may think I'm a conference junkie - it's all I seem to be posting about lately. I actually don't go to that many events, but it's been pretty busy for me lately on that front. Having just finished the IT Expo, I'm focusing now on eComm 2009, and doing what I can to make sure you attend.

It's smaller than the Expo, so the number of tickets available is limited, and if you don't have yours yet, you shouldn't wait too much longer. Plus, I can get you a 20% discount - just drop me a line, and I'll pass on the coupon code. You might want to jump on that, since the Early Bird deadline has now passed.

The speaking roster is first rate, and the caliber of sponsors getting behind the event says a lot about what you can expect there. Lee continues to add great content to the eComm blog, and that's another way to get a preview of what's coming. I've posted about these things before, and at this point, you just need to get over to the eComm website - it's all there.

Anyhow, as I shift modes from one conference to another, I was thinking about what to say today. Turns out Andy Abramson was reading my mind, as his post from yesterday is pretty much the segue I was thinking of to get from IT Expo to eComm.

The main point I want to echo from Andy's post is one of clarification. eComm is a very different kind of event, and it's a mistake to view it as competition with exhibitor-based shows like IT Expo or upcoming majors like MWC or CTIA. Those shows draw from a much wider audience and are about putting buyers and sellers together as much as being a forum for thought leadership.

eComm is all about the content and personal networking that comes from being amongst so many interesting people. It's very much about individual/personal visions and perspectives and not corporate pitches or marketingspeak. It's really a marathon and a test of stamina for those who want to take in dozens of strains around innovation and disruptoin over three days. There won't be any showfloor to run away to as a distraction - everyone is together, and by the end, eComm becomes a pretty tight community.

To pick up on Andy's sports theme, it's a lot like going to a ball game at Wrigley. There's nothing like it - and that's saying a lot from someone who has been going to games at Fenway for 5 decades. At Wrigley, there is no Jumbotron scoreboard or instant replays of any kind. The scoreboard itself is such a minor feature of the landscape, you simply have to watch the game at all times to know what's going on. That's how you really take in a ball game - no distractions, no filters, no advertising. It's as pure as it gets these days, and eComm is a lot like that to me. I digress...

Back to Andy's post. He picked up on Tom Keating's post from Friday which had a breakdown of attendance at the Expo. I totally agree with the thing that most struck Andy - developers only accounted for 6% of the IT Expo attendance. It's not a surprise really - TMC does have a separate developer show - the Expo just isn't their natural habitat. However, it sure is at eComm, and this is a really important community to engage these days.

So, to Andy's point, eComm very much complements other shows by attracting an audience those shows are missing. The challenge for eComm, of course, is to expand its reach beyond this niche audience, and given the scope of content being presented, this shouldn't be that hard to do. We'll find out soon enough, and if you've made up your mind to find out for yourself, don't forget to get that discount!