We're attending Gartner's BPM 2011 conference in Baltimore, and this is the first time we've taken two people to one of their conferences and are in full-on attendee mode rather than speaking or participating in a panel.
Some general observations:
I have to admit, content in day 1 seemed pretty elementary regardless of which "track" we attended.? Not that it was badly delivered, or bad content - just fairly elementary if you've been doing this "BPM" thing for a while.
It was immediately apparent that the crowd is a different mix than something like, IBM Impact.? The business attendees appear to outnumber the technical attendees.? At lunch we sat down with 5 people from an insurance company - only one of which was from IT.? That would be extremely a-typical at most conferences I've been to around BPM.? And it seems like A Good Thing.
The keynote was crisply delivered.? But it was also more about general IT trends rather than specific to BPM.? Of course, you can't get through a keynote these days without the word "Cloud" showing up. Reminds me of 2002-2007 when you couldn't get through a presentation without seeing a big call-out to offshoring or "outsourcing".
Despite the overall beginning tone of the content, it was a good first day and we had time to meet with several vendors and partners in the solution center - including reuniting with customers (Intel, Allianz), and colleagues (at IBM's booth).? Had a really interesting discussion with Denis Gagne of the Process Incubator - as we discussed whether case management was really something customers are asking for or just something buried in their requests for process improvement.? I hadn't seen Denis since an OMG ThinkTank meeting in 2008, so it was nice to catch up in person. He continues to do interesting things at the process incubator...Also had the chance to catch up with Bruce Silver and Sandy Kemsley, two of my favorite bloggers - and Ian Gotts of Nimbus (another twitter-acquaintance I can put a face to!).
It is sometimes the synergistic meetings that make these trips interesting.? Just happened to catch the same flight as Phil Gilbert of IBM, and shared a cab to the hotel.? Great time to catch up on business and Impact.? Phil is as interesting to talk to one-on-one as he is when he's up on stage.
We're already part-way into Day 2, and the content so far has been at a more intermediate level, which is encouraging for the value of the sessions today.? Hoping for more good stuff.
If you're following along at home, once again Sandy Kemsley has the best session coverage / blogging so far.