Should you attend Think 2019 in San Francisco? Absolutely—it’s all about building connections!

My senior colleagues and I attended Think 2018 this past March, and not only did we have a ball, but our business progressed by leaps and bounds. This wasn’t our first IBM conference by any means, but Think 2018 really raised the stakes by giving us a great feeling of inclusion as Business Partners.

The captivating presentation and leadership displayed by Ginni Rometty was, for me, a high point—and it was not just hype. She came across as both real and grounded, and she was very easy to relate to. Afterward, I’d never felt so much pride in being an IBM BP.

The buzz of participating in such a stimulating event was part of the positivity for us, but like anything, you get out of it what you put into it. After all, when you’re at the bottom of the world—we’re based in beautiful New Zealand—you don’t travel all the way to Las Vegas without having some specific outcomes you want to achieve.

We had a chance to speak with some IBM executives during Think, and I encourage you to do the same if you can. What truly impressed us about these discussions was how well informed the executives were about our business. They hooked into these talks immediately, listened well and then provided detailed advice and guidance.

These meetings really validated for us what we are doing and gave us the confidence to continue to advance. Think actually stimulated us toward our growth goals!

Of course, you can’t leave out the social events. We were building relationships and making new connections with people the whole time. And because of those conversations, we engendered an interest in our work from other partners from all over the globe.

I’ve worked in business strategy for decades, and I feel confident saying that we are in the middle of the biggest technology shift that I’ve seen. And getting business partners and clients to sign on to this new way of thinking requires cooperation. It’s not about selling technology—it’s about building something new.

For us, Think was a great place to start making those connections.

So I personally encourage you to check out Think this year, but only if you’re willing to put some effort into it!

Christine Bear
Managing Director, CBA Strategic IT Ltd.