Innovation in an Innovation Event – Pipeline2011

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What I learned this week … was that there is still innovation in innovation-focused events! Last year, I heard from two separate friends about a new event they participated in that they thought was fantastic. Instead of the usual physical conference, they attended a virtual event. This wasn’t the first virtual event I had heard of (I have attended a few and present over the web frequently) – but this was the first one that I heard get high praise.

<Updated to correct my glaring typo – thanks Jenna>

The Event

The event from last year was called Pipeline. It included a series of speakers that rivaled any you would find at an onsite conference. In addition, it had virtual booths that allowed you to get information and interact with speakers and sponsors. Why was this event so much more interesting than others? I have to admit, I don’t know the answer. But they did a few things right:

  • The platform for the event was built for this purpose
  • The speakers were educational, not giving product pitches
  • There is an opportunity to chat with the speakers, perhaps better access than at a physical conference where they have another session to attend
  • The sponsors were there to educate as well
  • The organizers focus on putting on a great event, not trying to steal the limelight
  • They had over 1,000 people attend

In general, it wasn’t a sales pitch wrapped up like a conference. In fact, I wasn’t sure who organized it before looking into it a little bit deeper. Well done. I usually don’t get those kind of unsolicited, positive comments on anything related to a conference.

My Opportunity to Participate (and Yours)

This year, I was surprised to get a phone call from Planview (a portfolio management vendor, a Pipeline sponsor, and also the company that organizes the event). I told them how impressed I was with the conference and was surprised to find out they were asking me to participate. I am happy to say I will be presenting on Social Computing and the Product Lifecycle at Pipeline2011! I plan to attend as well, there are some great speakers. You can register for Pipeline2011 here, it is free to attend and you don’t have to leave the comfort of your office (no travel expenses, and no hangover from staying out to late at the conference).

So I am looking forward to speaking, and also attending. This is a pretty unique event. Who knew that there were such well received virtual events? I didn’t, if you did let us know about it.