The TechLearn community convened in Orlando this Sunday through midday Wednesday for the sixth time in five years. Why do I say community instead of conference or show? Because Elliott Masie and his acolytes have created a culture replete with rituals, castes, customs, expectations, and entertainment.
I asked two-dozen people, half newbies and half old-timers what they thought of TechLearn. Every one -- every single one! -- said TechLearn was the best show they’d ever attended. New people are attracted by Elliott’s reputation; his broad contacts are an early warning system for the industry. Old hands come to find out what’s going on, to sniff out business, and to renew friendships. This was my fifth consecutive TechLearn, and I felt like I was returning for a club meeting.
1452.5 people from 37 countries came to Disney’s Coronado Springs hotel to pass the talking stick this year. (The .5 is a prenancy.) This year’s group was more senior in their organizations, perhaps a reflection of budget restrictions on travel for the junior folks. About a third were first-timers. A large contingent were members of the consortium (whose employers kick in $5,000 a year for membership.)
How do Elliott, his wife Cathy, and his partner Stan, pull this off?
Another tradition: Booz Allen’s Mike Parmentier, assisted by his former colleagues at ADL, prepares a trip report summarizing the entire event. I don’t intend to reinvent the wheel. Besides, with as many as 25 concurrent sessions, it’s impossible for any one individual to take part in more a small fraction of the show. Download the trip report for the facts. The Masie Center is working away right now to post presentations and streaming audio; I'll note when things start to appear.
Here on the Blog, I’ll add color commentary, opinions, and a few photographs.
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