Thursday, 14 October 2010

Scary escalators, flowers and a huge conference

As usual, everything about this conference is huge. The conference centre is huge, with some very scary escalators which span several floors. The exhibition is huge. I've probably spent 3 hours in it in total over the last couple of days and am not sure that I've even seen every stand, never mind visited and spoken to them. I have had a chat with some of our existing suppliers, and some with products that we might be interested in.

The conference itself is huge, there are 6,700 attendees, 2,500 participating on-line and about 1000 exhibitors. Makes the logistics of getting everyone in and out of sessions and fed and watered in the breaks interesting but it works incredibly well.

Some sessions aren't what you expect. Yesterday I was in one called Is the Internet making us stupid, which was another point/counterpoint session with a very evangelistic, technology enthusiastic professor facing a very conservative CIO, (which stands for Condemn Innovation Oppressively according to the professor). At one point the professor jumped off the stage and handed us all flowers while expressing his love for all of us. Very odd.

This morning EDUCAUSE presented Ira Fuchs with a Leadership Award for his work in supporting the development of open source software including Sakai, uPortal and Kuali through grants from the Mellon Foundation. It was a very popular choice.

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