Welcome to SHARE in Anaheim! We have an exciting program lined up for you. There are nearly 600 sessions to choose from, which are being presented by almost 350 speakers representing 120 companies. In particular, I’d like to highlight a couple of our keynote sessions. Monday morning’s keynote, presented by Anjul Bhambhri, will underscore issues and challenges around analyzing large amounts of data. These issues were highlighted in the recent Jeopardy challenge between two human contestants and IBM’s Watson. In Tuesday’s keynote, Sandy Carter will discuss the top trends in Social Business, and we are thrilled to have her with us.
But, there is a lot more to SHARE than just the great sessions and keynote presentations you will attend. Optimize your SHARE experience by meeting people and getting involved. Your week at SHARE needs to be an interactive experience, which will help you address your organization’s technological and business needs. SHARE is not intended to be a monologue, but rather a dialogue. Don’t just sit in sessions with the hope of picking up some useful information; talk to the speakers for those sessions, and ask questions. Talk with other attendees. Ask about whatever problems, concerns and issues are important to you and your organization. Don’t let your learning stop when the SHARE week ends. Exchange contact information with other attendees and continue to network with others after SHARE is over. You can get many new ideas and solutions for problems at SHARE that will pay for your trip here! Remember that SHARE is a community, and we want you to be an active participant in our community.
Also remember that SHARE is not just about attending sessions. Come to the evening receptions to network and discuss topics of interest. When you attend sessions or talk to others in areas of interest, find a group with interests similar to yours that you can go out to dinner with. You’re in Anaheim, California, in the middle of a world class entertainment, shopping, and dining venue. Don’t forget to take some time to check out the area. Go out with your new-found friends each evening and explore the neighborhood.
When you do return to work, think about how you can leverage the information you have gleaned and the contacts you have made. If you had a great week and want to come back, we’ve found that the best way to build a case to return is to share the insights you have gained. Be sure to document your findings and share information with those who were not able to come. Also consider getting involved with one of our Projects before you leave. It’s a great way to stay in touch with others with common interests, and being involved can provide even more benefits that you can share with your colleagues back at the office.
So, let the conference week begin! It will be a great week full of fascinating conversations and outstanding presentations. I’m grateful to our sponsors and exhibitors for their continuing commitment to SHARE. I hope that each and every one of you will have a personally and professionally rewarding experience over the next week.