The MQ Technical Conference in Sandusky, Ohio
Morag Hughson 110000EQPN Comments (5) Visits (4969)
I've just come back from the first ever technical conference solely dedicated to IBM WebSphere MQ. This was the Capitalware MQ Technical Conference held in the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.
There were five simultaneous tracks of presentations at the conference – you can see the complete timetable by looking at the ⇒schedule. This meant that there was always something of interest to everyone to go and listen to. From what I could tell looking at the attendance in the rooms and the empty corridors during sessions, everyone found something to their interest in every timetabled slot. That is not something that all conferences can lay claim to.
These five tracks ran in five rooms that were all right next to each other. This kept the conference in one area without long distances to walk between sessions. Coffee was served in the corridor that joined all these five rooms and in the afternoon, cake / ice cream / cheesecake (depending on the day) was served in the same place. This kept people together, got discussions going straight out of the sessions, and made for a very compact conference which is beneficial to networking. The meals and Sponsor Pavilion in the evening were just at the end of the same corridor, so again no long walks where people might decide not to bother – everything was all there together.
At breakfast on the first day, all you could see on almost all the tables were people poring over the schedule and trying to decide which sessions to go to. Most of the sessions were run twice, which meant if something clashed with another session you wanted to attend, there was a second chance to go and see it. By the end of breakfast lots of people had their timetables all circled and knew what their plan was for the next three days.
The brilliant thing about going to a conference that was solely about WebSphere MQ was that during the breaks, at meals times, and in the Sponsor Pavilion in the evenings, it did not matter which table you sat at, or which people you chatted to, there was always interest in WebSphere MQ. This was a real luxury and not something you get when going to a conference with a broader set of presentations and thus attendees. It felt very focused on WebSphere MQ and that was wonderful.
All the attendees that I spoke to said it was an excellent conference and that they hope it is run again next year too – perhaps next time you'll be able to join us? The material provided by the speakers will be hosted on the conference web site. You will be able to find it by looking at the ⇒sessions.
You can see some photographs taken by the conference organizer below:
There are also various photos shared by speakers that can be seen on the ⇒WebSphere MQ facebook page.