By Jerry Seefeldt, SHARE Director, Vendor Relations
The three pillars of SHARE — educate, network and influence (ENI)— do not stop in the session rooms at SHARE in Orlando. I’m here to tell you that you will benefit greatly by stepping into the SHARE Technology Exchange (STE) tradeshow during the conference. I am not saying this because I work for an independent software vendor. It’s because I’m a volunteer board member and strongly believe the informal setting of the STE can provide members with an opportunity to chat with presenters, subject matter experts, industry leaders and the developers of the products you use or would like to use.
Let’s start with the first of the three pillars: educate. I have personally engaged presenters on the trade show floor to help me resolve issues that had me stumped. This one-on-one opportunity may not present itself after a traditional, in-person session. Developers are also easier to approach during an open forum like the STE than after an educational session where people may be strapped for time or are rushing off to other sessions. Take advantage of the time available at the STE to discuss questions with developers that are on your mind; that’s why these developers are at SHARE. Once a connection is made with a developer on site, I’ve found it is easier to communicate with them after I have returned from SHARE. Be sure to take advantage of these opportunities.
On to No. 2: network. There are fewer things more inviting than saying to a fellow attendee “Let’s grab a <insert your choice of refreshment here> and talk about how you handle <insert your choice of topics here>.” Why not learn from your peers? The combined experience embodied by the STE attendants is incredible. It’s infinitely easier to chat with someone in the STE; there’s no need to look at your watch and few SHARE activities interfere with STE hours. By the way, wouldn’t it be nice to win a smart watch in the STE? You can win one or other great items in the SHARE Passport to Prizes happening on site!
And No. 3: influence. It doesn’t occur only within the Requirements Community aspect of SHARE. Have an idea for a product that will make your life easier? Please speak up when you visit with the exhibitors. If you have a request for your vendors, chances are others may be dealing with the same issue and will benefit from your discussions.
I’ve mentioned your suggestions to vendors are valuable; let me go one step further. We truly enjoy meeting you, putting a face to a name and getting input from you is important to us. It also gives us the opportunity to update you on our latest releases and get your opinion on our development direction. Similarly, we appreciate the chance to show you how we propose to make your life a little easier by purchasing our products and services.
Extend ENI in the STE with snacks, beverages, conversation and celebration of SHARE’s 60th Anniversary.
SHARE Technology Exchange Hours:
Monday: 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 4 – 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Jerry Seefeldt entered the mainframe world as publisher of Technical Support magazine in the mid-1990s. He is currently the director of strategic partnerships for NewEra Software Inc. Seefeldt serves on the SHARE board of directors and is responsible for the vendor relations portfolio.