The OpenText Enterprise World conference is upon us again, and this year it has some fantastic speakers attached to it, including, wait for it, one William Shatner. Thats right, the Captain of the USS Enterprise is speaking at Enterprise World!
We dont know what Mr. Shatner will have to say about branding or making your enterprise unique, but it will be nice to see him in the flesh. Other aspects of the conference are as attractive as always, with three keynote speakers already booked from the world of OpenText. Theyll be looking at technology trends and EM issues that should resonate with executives and managers across the board. The event is glossy, high quality and has millions of dollars behind it.
And its in Florida.
Now that is a bit of a shame. If we had an Enterprise World here in the UK, or even Europe, the impact would be incredible. The value added to companies this side of the pond would be more than significant; these things are great for sharing ideas and networking, the output of which inevitably filter into the companies sending delegates and exhibitors alike. Business Process Improvement is pretty-much impossible in a vacuum, and having the opportunity to meet up, share ideas and contacts, and generally mixing it with like-minded folk would make a huge difference to the way people do business.
Okay, OpenText run Enterprise World, so they have a right to dominate much of the education with their own products and services, but they also have an excellent Expo aspect of the conference, where attendees can meet up with each other and undertake that all important sharing of ideas. The whole thing seems wonderfully informal, and aimed at getting people talking. The scope for meeting future business partners, or just joining in on a conversation that provides solutions to issues youve been facing, makes attendance very much worthwhile. And they serve great food too, so that particular aspect of conference attendance is well and truly taken care of.
Great for exposure
These events are also great for exposure. If one was to be run in Europe at this level, you would see some great sponsorship opportunities for companies that are able to actually service their audiences requirements no matter how impressive my pitch to an organisation in Hawaii at a meet-and-greet, I cant help thinking they may want a service delivery partner closer to home! A partner attending an event such as this one locally however, has a very real chance of boosting their brand and market awareness. The opportunity is there, also, to show expertise in enterprise management through sponsorship. Sponsors are given the chance to discuss their offerings, and how challenges have been faced and met through solid use of enterprise management solutions. Again, the opportunity to feed off someone else enthusiasm and ideas is there and more likely make a real difference for both partners and prospects.
Of course, a European based event of this magnitude would also make practical sense. Believe it or not, people dont want to spend thousands jetting executives off to the States for a conference. Investing in local talent and cutting down on transport costs and expense means that budgets are not tightened and communities are built here. There is an absolute wealth of talent here in the UK when it comes to BPM and EIM, and a conference of Enterprise Worlds size and ambition is long overdue. There is a series of 2-day events (still in the planning stages but likely nonetheless) and these are vital for European partners and customers, we will most certainly be in attendance, but the main element missing from these shorter events is immersion. Planning 4-5 days of seminars, education sessions, browsing and socialising increases the perceived (and actual), value gained from a prolonged absence from the office, and of course, the temptation to travel in on the start day of a 2-day conference and leave on the last day (ie the day after!) is strong.
Enterprise World is an invaluable and rewarding event but its time we had something as impressive and useful in Europe; to explore strange new opportunities, to seek out new technologies and new partnerships, to boldly go where we can get to without cutting internal budgets!