I attended one conference back in January, but the season really starts to ramp up about now through June, and I kicked it off with the Kofax conference in San Diego earlier this week. Just a few disclaimers about my participation in conferences, in case I forget to mention it in each case:
- Conference organizers provide me with a free conference pass under the category of press, analyst or blogger. In exchange, they receive publicity when I blog or tweet about the conference. That publicity may or may not be favorable to them: giving me a conference pass does not guarantee that I will like the content.
- For vendor conferences, the vendor always reimburses my travel expenses. This does not give them the right to review or edit any of the blog posts that I publish; in fact, it does not even guarantee that I will publish much while there if I’m really busy investigating their products and talking with their customers. However, it does guarantee that I understand their products and market much better afterwards.
- If I’m giving a formal presentation at a vendor conference, it’s safe to assume that they paid me a fee to do so; at some other conferences (such as academic or non-profit ones), I may waive my fee. Paying me to speak at a conference does not give a vendor any additional coverage or editorial rights with respect to my blog posts.
- Everything is on the record during the day, and off the record once the bar opens in the evening, unless otherwise requested. I created the “Kemsley rule” after noting that people tend to spill exciting upcoming news after a few drinks, then follow with a slightly horrified “don’t blog that”. I’m almost always invited to briefings under embargo or NDA at vendor conferences too, which I don’t blog either.
In April, I’m scheduled to give a keynote at Appian World in DC, and possibly sit on a panel (and definitely attend) IBM Impact in Las Vegas. May and June will be pretty busy, and I even have something scheduled in July, which is usually quiet for conferences. More to come on all of these as they get closer.