In a post Friday, noted VC Rick Segal summarized a Q&A he recently did with a class of college kids.
Of particular note for TSMR readers is the following passage:
Q: What’s the best conference a student can attend to learn from?
A: Depends on what you do. As a technical person, looking to mind meld with other technical people, Reboot and/or Gnomedex. As a business person trying to see what’s out there, what’s happening on the various technology fronts, CeBit in Germany is a good choice. Reboot/Gnomedex are good choices because very smart people spend time with people getting started or wanting to learn. Both places have an amazing sensitivity to mixing the speakers with the audience.
Think about that and let it sink in.
With all the professional show management experience available in this country, the domestic tech shows & conferences business is being outflanked by others either outside our borders or those who have great connections and learn about event organizing by trial and error.
While I think that Rick Segal might have included TED, DEMO and perhaps Gartner's IT Summit on his short list if he was speaking to a classroom of CEOs, the point remains that the US no longer has an epicenter for IT thought, at least not one that is managed by any of our larger media companies.
I think this is because the major media companies no longer understand how to do it. Everyone else has moved ahead while our industry is still trying to make old models work. Shame on us.