For the Gartner ITxpo, Does the Early Bird Really Get the Worm?

For the Gartner ITxpo, Does the Early Bird Really Get the Worm?

Check out Avatier at the Gartner ITxpo to capitalize on innovation.

I never do today what I can put off until tomorrow. My wife is just the opposite.

With the Gartner ITxpo already just a month away, she suggested I provide a preview of what looks good. Today, in late August. Clearly, you can see who wears the pants in my family…and perhaps, since I missed the Early Bird rate the first week of August, maybe she’s right. Again.
This year’s Gartner Symposium ITxpo will be held October 5-9th in Orlando and features an exclusive CIO Program; Ten IT role-based tracks; and more than 180 Gartner analysts (which is just a fraction of their 960 worldwide.) Serving 75% of the Global 500 and over 14,000 client organizations, Gartner has moved from powerhouse to just about the only game in town. We certainly recognize that because, once again, we are a ITxpo sponsor. More on that later.

With over 500 sessions to pick from, you probably need the time between now and then to select which ones you should attend. Those sessions in highest demand are the analyst one-on-one meetings and the Gartner ITxpo analyst roundtables or workshops. So, signing up early for these is imperative. It turns out; you can customize your agenda by analyst, speaker profile, session details, daily activities and networking. Hmmm, I may need more days to plan than to attend. Especially since the average Gartner symposium attracts over 8,500 attendees, including 3,000 CIOs. That means leaving a lot of time for networking. There should be an app for that. As it turns out, there is, so check it out.

2014 Gartner ITxpo Theme

This year’s ITxpo theme, "Driving Digital Business", refers to the increased crossover and fusion of the digital and physical world. It has been designed, according to the Gartner ITxpo advance literature, to help you "realize, build and optimize digital opportunities, move digital business from theory to practice, and evolve IT leadership to become indispensable in the new digital business world." I’m not sure what that means but it certainly sounds like something we should all know about. I’ve always been told that the litmus test of any good event is that you come away with at least one good idea to put into action. Becoming "indispensable" has always been a favorite of mine, so I choose that. I’ll let you know how I think I’m going to fare after the ITxpo Symposium.

There are four great keynotes, including the closing keynote from David Willis, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst from Gartner Research. The other three are from Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Peter Thiel who is listed modestly as "Technology Entrepreneur and Inventor" (but I particularly enjoyed the mention that today he is known as the mentor of the PayPal mafia of entrepreneurs), and Steve Wozniak of…well we all know Steve. Frankly, I am looking forward to checking out whether Satya’s feet are big enough to fill the shoes he has to put on these days.

Don’t Miss the Gartner ITxpo Keynotes

I must admit a little CIO envy when I look at the keynotes for their program. Arianna Huffington is a terrific, insightful speaker. Patrick Lencioni (who is Founder and President of the Table Group) has authored 10 books which have sold over 4 million copies and been translated into more than 25 languages. If I recall, The Wall Street Journal called him one of the most sought after business speakers in America. Enough said. Robert McKee, the third luncheon keynote, is a hoot. A self-described "Story Lecturer", he started as a creative writing instructor at the University of Southern California. He has built that art of storytelling into a captivating Story-in-Business seminar called "True Talk". Stories are among the four pillars behind organizational change and he has instructed leaders and managers on how to use story in strategic management, brand management and business communications. I hope it’s a long lunch because there is a lot to cover and it might be the one way I know of to become truly "indispensable" to my organization.

There is definitely enough information packed into these few days that I really should take more than one blog to cover them all—so I’ll do that.

Before I close out this one, however, just a word about the Avatier Gartner ITxpo booth in the Expo Hall. We have one of the most unique Single Sign-On solutions coming to the market in years. You can schedule time to have our Executive team provide a first look at this breakthrough product but these sessions fill up quickly so you should either call 925-217-5170 or email for private one-on-one demonstrations.

Right now, I’m getting back to filling out my reservations. My wife had a point…

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Written by Gary Thompson

Gary Thompson is a 35 year veteran of the PR industry. He was the president of Shandwick International, the world’s largest agency with 2000 people in 90 offices and 32 countries. A million mile flyer on both American and United, he got off the road at the “encouragement” of his wife. Four years ago, he founded his own firm, Clarity Communications, which counts Avatier as one its most successful clients.