Frequently Asked Questions

Agenda and session

How can I sign up for a hands-on lab?

Book your spot early using Session Expert or IBM Events mobile app for hands-on labs. Register early as they fill up quickly. If you are confirmed in a session, your seat will be held until the session or lab begins. If enrollment is full and you are on standby, you can wait until after the start of the session and unoccupied seats will be given to those waiting on a first come, first served basis. All IBM employees are defaulted to stand-by status as prioritization is given to clients and IBM Business Partners first.

How can I sign up for certification exams?

Register in advance to take certification exams at Walk-in appointments can be made if space permits. If you have preregistered for an exam appointment, your spot will be held for 15 minutes. After this time, unoccupied seats will be given to those waiting on a first come, first served basis.

How much does a certification exam cost?

One free exam will be offered per attendee from any of IBM’s hardware or software certification or technical mastery exams. Additional exams can be taken at $50 USD each. If an attendee fails to appear for their free exam appointment, they will not receive another free exam. Additionally, any attendee that fails to appear for a $50 exam appointment will not receive a refund. If an attendee is more than 15 minutes late for their appointment, their spot may be given away to any walk-ups that have come to test. No refunds will be given should this happen.

Is there a mobile app for Think?

The IBM Events Mobile app is your best resource for everything Think.  Explore the full catalogue of sessions and labs, discover campus and park activities, get session recommendations and network with fellow attendees.

Registered attendees can search for "IBM Events" in your device's app store. Select "Think 2019" from list and log in with your IBMid. Download the IBM Events Mobile App here.

What is Smart Starts Here?

Get a jump start on your week at Think 2019 when you enroll in Smart Starts Here, a set of labs and sessions that give you access to the full Think experience as soon as you arrive. Sign up for special limited-seating sessions covering Trends and Directions and special Innovation Talks. Take part in Breakout Sessions, Labs and Certifications before the rush. It’s all ready for you, starting on Tuesday.

Spots in these exclusive sessions are available on a first-come, first-served enrollment basis. Register for the conference and select Smart Starts Here to sign up for these sessions. Act quickly, they’ll likely fill up fast!

What is Think Academy at Think 2019?

Everything you love about labs, certifications and development surrounded by experts and teachers in an engaging and inspiring environment. Think Academy is comprised of three distinct areas:

- Hands-on labs: Gain firsthand technical learning with expert instructors providing step-by-step lab instructions. Self paced labs allow you to deep dive into a specific topic on your own schedule.
- Certifications: Choose from 250+ proctored certification and technical sales mastery exams. As a Think 2019 attendee, your first exam will be free, plus you'll receive a huge discount on any additional exams.
- Code - our developer zone at Think: Sharpen your skills, immerse yourself in a world of IBM products and solutions, and catch up on all the advances in technology you may have missed.

What is the Think Conference?

Think is the world’s most celebrated gathering of visionaries, technologists and innovators. Where the curious convene and foremost business leaders connect to inspire and learn.

Join us to create in the Cloud, innovate with IoT, break down barriers with Blockchain, and solve the unsolvable with Quantum. Learn how to get more value from AI and your Data --train it, trust it and make your business more efficient and Secure. See how the newest technology paired with our industry expertise can reinvent your business and industry, your school and store, your farm and pharmacology, your bank and energy grid, regulations and workflows.

At Think 2019 you will find the way forward through deep interactions with brilliant minds and industry experts. Change the way the world works by putting smart to work. Come together and think.

What types of tracks and sessions can I expect?

From high-level strategy discussions to targeted technical training, our conference education will cover the breadth and depth of technology and business topics including cloud, AI, data and analytics, infrastructure, and many more. Check out the curriculum page for more information on this year’s sessions.

When can I begin to build my agenda/enroll in sessions?

Registered attendees can build their schedule with Session Expert. The session expert can be found here.

Where is Think 2019?

Think 2019 activities will span across several venues in downtown San Francisco including the Moscone Convention Centers North, South and West,  AMC Metreon Theaters, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, InterContinental San Francisco, Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Westin St. Francis, St. Regis and more.

Will Hands-on Labs be available at Think?

Yes, hands-on labs will be offered. You will gain first-hand technical learning with expert instructors providing step-by-step lab instruction. Optionally, as your schedule permits, enjoy a self-paced lab.

Will certifications be offered at Think 2019?

Yes. Build your credentials – whether it's certifications or technical mastery exams – by validating your skills and demonstrating your proficiency across myriad technical topics. A list of all exams offered can be found here. Use the filter to see only certification or technical mastery exams.

General Information

ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) information

During the registration process, please let us know if you have special accessibility requirements. A member of our team will contact you to discuss your specific requirement and put you in contact with a third-party vendor to assist with your onsite needs. You may also contact customer service at 1-800-227-4374 or email

About San Francisco

For information about the city of San Francisco, visit the San Francisco Travel website


The attire is business casual. Comfortable shoes are recommended.


Your conference badge must be visible at all times and is required for admittance to all conference activities for security purposes.

Business centers

The Moscone Business Center provides full service business needs for your convenience and provides photocopying, faxing, computer workstations, and printing services. Shipping is provided through UPS. Office supplies and souvenirs are also available for purchase. Business centers are located in each building. Moscone South: Lower Level, adjacent to the entrance of Hall C; Moscone North: Lower Level, under escalators, adjacent to Room 130; Moscone West: Lobby Level, near the Howard Street Entrance. For more information:

Moscone Center
Facility Services
Phone: 415-974-4080
FAX: 415-974-4065


Please note that all food and beverage items consumed in function rooms, hotel outlets, and hospitality rooms must be purchased from the venue or approved caterer.

Code of conduct

Please view the event code of conduct here.

Customer service

Customer service phone lines and dedicated email are supported from 9:00am – 6:00pm EST.

US and Canada: 800-227-4374
International: 770-359-6591

Dietary accommodations

Think attendees with dietary restrictions may indicate their need during registration by choosing from available special meal offerings. IBM prepares for attendees with many dietary requirements and we will make every effort to accommodate dietary needs. IBM cannot guarantee the ability to fulfill every dietary request. Dietary accommodations must be pre-selected during registration and confirmed prior to January 14, 2019. Dietary needs cannot be guaranteed after January 14, 2019, and are subject to availability. Major food allergens will be labeled.


Beverages, boxed lunch and PM breaks will be provided Tuesday – Thursday. Note breakfast is on your own. Refer to dietary accommodations.


Moscone Center does not include a public parking facility. Listed on this webpage are public parking garages in close proximity to the facility, each of which provide certain spaces reserved for use by authorized, handicapped individuals. Parking is first come, first served. Learn more here.

Photography and video production

Videotaping and recording of the conference sessions are not permitted. No part of the conference, presentation, or other materials may be reproduced, recorded, videotaped, disseminated, or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored or redistributed in whole or in part without the prior written permission of IBM Corporation. Photo taking is permissable, but will be discouraged if obtrusive to speakers.

Restaurants and dining

Visit the visitor information center for details.

Visitor information center

The San Francisco Visitor Information Center is located on the southwest corner of 4th and Howard Streets, next to the carousel. Hours aare 9:00am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. Please also visit:


Accommodations overview

Accommodations available in the Think conference block are very limited or sold out.

If you are unable to find your perfect accommodations, our housing team suggest the following resources:
- Corporate travel resources supported by your company
- Popular travel websites such as, Expedia, Kayak, HotwireRental by owner sites such as AirBNB, VRBO Official
- Think conference hotels may have availability outside the conference block. Click here to view the Think 2019 conference hotel listing.

We also recommend exploring outside of downtown San Francisco. There are many great locations just over the Bay Bridge and down the path near the San Francisco International Airport. Both have easy access to San Francisco.

Note: All suggestions above are considered individual booking options and not affiliated with Think 2019.

Does the hotel rate include breakfast?

Breakfast is not included in the Think 2019 group hotel conference rates. Please check with your hotel for available breakfast options and offerings.

I called the hotel to check on the hotel booking I just made. They don't have my reservation. Why not? Should I be worried?

If you made hotel reservations through the Think 2019 conference, and the hotel states they do not have your reservations, please contact for assistance.

I did not get a hotel confirmation number. How will I be able to check into the hotel?

When you book your hotel accommodations as part of your conference registration, you will receive a hotel acknowledgement email. Simply present a valid government issued photo ID and a major credit card upon check in at your selected hotel. Hotel confirmation numbers are not required to check into the hotel.

I did not receive my hotel acknowledgment email. What should I do?

Please add to your "safe" email address list to ensure receipt of all hotel related communications. If you need assistance, please contact

I reserved my hotel through the Think conference housing website.  How do I make a change?

Please contact the hotel directly to make any changes or cancellation. Date changes are subject to availability and prevailing rates. Be sure to review your hotel's cancellation policy, and always contact your hotel if your plans change within 72 hours of check in.

I work for the government. Do the hotels offer government employee rates?

At this time, Think conference hotel rooms are no longer available within the government per diem. You are welcome to check availability outside the conference accommodations. Popular travel websites such as, Expedia, Kayak, HotwireRental by owner sites such as AirBNB, VRBO Official.

Note: All suggestions above are considered individual booking options and not affiliated with Think 2019.

I would like to book a suite.

Suites are not part of the general inventory at participating Think 2019 hotels.

If I cancel my Think 2019 registration, can I transfer my hotel reservation to another attendee?

No. Hotel reservations made through Think 2019 registration are not transferable.

Mobility accessible rooms

Accessible hotel rooms are available at most of the Think 2019 conference hotels. You will be able to request an accessible room when booking your reservation. You may follow up directly with your selected hotel to learn more about their accessible room offerings and other services. If you need additional assistance regarding accessible accommodations, please contact

What if I do not check in on my scheduled check-in date?

If you do not check in to your hotel on your scheduled check in date, the hotel will cancel your entire reservation. The hotel can choose to not reinstate your reservation, even if you arrive the next day. You will also be charged the penalty cost of one night's room and tax, regardless of whether the hotel chooses to reinstate your reservation. Please review your hotel's the cancellation policy, and always contact your hotel directly if your plans change within 72 hours of check in.

What is the hotel cancellation policy?

If you booked your hotel accommodations via the Think 2019 registration process, cancellations must be made within 72 hours of your check in date. Failure to do so will incur a penalty equal to the cost of one night's room room and tax charged to the credit card used to guarantee the booking.

Which web browsers are supported by the Think housing website?

The Think Housing site is supported on the following browsers: Chrome 30 or higher, Internet Explorer 11 or higher, Firefox 34 or higher, Firefox Mobile 34 or higher, Safari 7 or higher, Safari Mobile 9 or higher, and Opera 30 or higher. It is recommended you clear cache for best results.

Who do I contact if I need help with my hotel reservation (date changes, cancellation, etc.)?

All reservation modifications must be made by contacting the hotel directly. All requests for changes are based on availability and prevailing rates.

Why don't I see my hotel booking when I look at my hotel loyalty account on line?

Please contact your hotel directly to add your loyalty number to your reservation, or present your membership card upon check in.


Can IBM Business Partners use Specialty and PGI Vouchers for Think?

IBM Competency, PGI and PartnerWorld Program vouchers are accepted for this event. The 8 digit voucher number is needed at registration for accurate billing. The conference cancellation policy applies. In order to use 2018 vouchers, you must register before they expire on December 31, 2018.

Note: If you anticipate you will receive a voucher in January 2019, you can choose to pay the conference fee using a pending 2019 IBM Voucher. Just choose “Pending 2019 Voucher” from the payment option, and you will be able to complete your registration and book your hotel at the end of the registration process. Your registration will remain in "Pending" status until a voucher number is applied. You must contact the Think Registration Support Team to apply your voucher to your registration by February 1, 2019.

After the February 1 deadline, any registrations pending a voucher or alternate method of payment will be canceled with no fees. You will be responsible for your own hotel booking and any hotel cancellation fees.

For additional details, please see Questions? Contact

How do I get an IBMid, reset my IBMid password, or update my profile?

If you do not have an IBMid, you will need to create one here.

Creating an IBMid simply requires an email address, first name and last name, country, and a password. You will be sent an email with a button to click to validate your registration. To manage or update your IBMid profile information, visit

The information you make available within your profile will automatically be pulled into registration forms using your IBMid.

How do I substitute another attendee in my place?

A substitution can occur at any time. The original enrollee and the replacement enrollee must be from the same company. The substituion attendee must not already be registered for the conference. All substitutions will be subject to a $250 USD processing fee and requests must be in writing via e-mail to Hotel accommodations are not transferable and are based on current hotel availability.

How do I update the information stored in my IBMid?

You can view, edit and manage your IBMid profile information, including personal contact details, anytime by clicking here.

I am part of a GOE. Is there a discounted registration fee?

Yes, there is a discounted Government Rate. Please send request along with a copy of your GOE photo identification from your government issued email address to  Upon receipt, a promo code will be provided for your discounted registration fee. This discount is for new registrations only. Promo codes cannot be applied retroactivity.

I can only attend for one day. Is a one-day pass available?

Yes, a one-day pass is available for clients and Business Partners to purchase. One-day passes are available for Wednesday or Thursday, $895.00 USD. A one-day pass does not include any evening activities.

I did not receive or cannot find my registration confirmation. What do I do?

You should have received an e-mail acknowledgement upon completion of your registration. You will receive a more detailed email confirmation and receipt when the payment has been sucessfully collected on your registration record. If you did not receive the email acknowledgement, please contact the Event Customer Service team at 800-227-4374 to verify your enrollment. You may also send an email to

I get an error when I attempt to register. What should I do?

If you are unable to register and receive an error message, please email the events team at and provide as much of the following information as possible, including:

  • The page you were on when the error occurred
  • Your browser type (i.e. Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.)
  • The date and time you tried to register
  • Any other details related to the error
  • We will respond to your email with 24 hours and help you complete your registration.

I need to cancel my registration. What do I do and what is my liability?

You may contact the Event Customer Service Center directly by emailing

The following cancellation fees apply:

  • Refund less $250 of paid conference fee prior to November 2, 2018.
  • Refund less 50% of paid conference fee November 3, 2018 - December 7, 2018
  • No refund after December 7, 2018

If hotel accommodations were booked through the conference housing website, they will be cancelled. Hotel reservations cancelled less than 72 hours prior to scheduled check in date, are subject to the hotel's cancellation policies.

Is IBMid only for IBMers?

Your IBMid provides access to IBM applications, service trials, communities, support, on-line purchasing, and much more. Everyone registering for Think 2019 will require an IBMid.

Is the IBMid the same as my PartnerWorld ID?

The ID needed for PartnerWorld is a different ID. An IBMid is needed to initially request a PartnerWorld ID. You will need to enter your IBMid to register.

Is there an age limit to participate in the Think 2019 conference?

Individuals must be over the age of 21 in order to participate in the conference and attend all related events.

What does IBM do with the information collected?

IBM is collecting the information to facilitate the execution process and improve your overall experience at the event. We may also collect information about your specific activities during the event and use the data to customize our future interactions with you. Also, subject to your preferences of receiving marketing material from IBM, we may also use the data to keep you informed of our products, services and offerings.

What does IBM do with the information in my IBMid?

Details can be found at the IBMid site or this link.

What if I forgot my password?

If you do not remember your password, please click here

Enter your IBMid (which is likely your email address; i.e., then click the "continue" button. An email to reset your password will be sent to the email address entered.

If you have a federated ID, you will need to use your organization's password reset process. This applies to most IBM employees and a number of organizations.

What is IBMid?

IBMid is a single sign on ID that will allow (both inside IBM and outside) users to access applications. IBMid is being deployed across the company and using an IBMid will limit the need to provide the same information over and over again.

What methods of payment are accepted for conference registration?

Accepted payment methods include credit card (specifically American Express, MasterCard, or Visa), check, and wire transfer.

Where can I view the Think 2019 Terms and Conditions?

You will be asked to review the Terms and Conditions before completing your Think registration. Read the Terms and Conditions presented in registration here.

Why is IBMid used for registration?

The use of IBMid for registration allows us to personalize your overall event experience and helps us to provide timely information and synchronize preferences between various tools such as registration, Session Expert and scheduling, and the IBM Events mobile application.

Speaker Information

How can I arrange translation services for my session?

All sessions are to be presented in English. As such, there are no translation services for speakers.

How do I make a change to the presentation file if I have already uploaded it to the Speaker Center?

Please return to your Speaker Center to upload your newly revised presentation file in PDF format, making sure to confirm consent to share your content with registered conference attendees. Please be advised that there may be a delay in visibility and access to your revised presentation due to the need for content team to review and approve.

I am an IBM employee and speaker. Am I eligible for a waiver or discounted registration?

No, all IBM employees pay the same IBM registration rate after obtaining manager approval. All speakers are responsible for their hotel and travel expenses.

I have been selected as a speaker. Where can I find more details about my responsibilities and the key dates?

All relevant speaker information is available on the Speaker Center.

I haven’t yet received notification about my proposal status. Can I register anyway?

The registration form is designed to prevent you from registering with the email address in your speaker profile until your status is official. Speakers must register with the email address in their speaker profile to ensure they are properly flagged as speakers. A speaker is not eligible for a waiver if already registered. There is no refund if you register successfully with an alternate email address before receiving registration instruction, including waivers, purchased passes, or other discounted promotional codes.

I would like to audio or video record a session. Can I do that?

All speakers must first consent to be recorded. If you plan to use more than your smart device to record the session, contact to request vendor contact details so you can arrange the service and payment. The in-house vendor should be used since they already have access to session equipment, and have the necessary credentials to access the conference.

If I am selected as a customer or Business Partner speaker, does IBM provide a conference registration waiver or any other benefit?

Customer and Business Partner speakers who are selected to deliver a breakout session may be eligible to receive a conference registration waiver. Only one waiver may be available for a non-IBM speaker per session. A conference registration waiver will be offered to the speaker if IBM determines, after legal review of applicable laws, that it is appropriate. Restrictions apply.

A speaker is not eligible if already registered. The waiver is not transferable. Speakers must deliver their session in US English. If both a customer and Business Partner are speaking in a session, the customer will receive the waiver. This waiver is given to the speaker and not aligned with the session. For example, if a customer or Business Partner is speaking in two sessions, the single waiver covers both sessions. Lab presenters are not eligible for a waiver. Sponsor sessions are also excluded. Speakers will be informed about the conference waiver status and any other documentation that may be required. The conference registration waiver allows admission to all conference meals, elective sessions, Campuses, and networking events Tuesday through Friday. Speakers are responsible for their own travel and hotel expenses.

If my proposal is accepted, when will it be scheduled?

The Content Team will begin assembling the curriculum schedule after notifications are sent. Session schedules will be communicated to speakers beginning in mid-October. Decisions may be communicated in waves. Sessions will be scheduled Tuesday through Friday at the discretion of the Content Team to ensure the best possible flow and content balance for the curriculum. Speakers will be notified of their schedule as soon as possible. The Content Team reserves the right to adjust the session schedule as necessary up until the conference starts, making every reasonable effort to avoid significant changes. Speakers will receive notifications about schedule changes from

I’m a selected speaker. What do I do now?

Official decisions are relayed by email from If you’ve received this email, please read it to understand the next steps. Log into your online speaker center to complete the two pre-registration requirements (consent form and photo upload), and then review deadlines and logistical information that will contribute to the success of your presentation.

I’m just presenting my session but not attending any other conference activity. Do I still need to register? What about my coworker or spouse getting a pass just to attend my session?

All speakers must be registered and have a conference badge to be permitted entry into the session rooms. All those accessing conference areas must be registered and have a conference badge to comply with security protocols.

My company is sponsoring the conference and I need to provide sponsor session details. What is the process and what are the associated deadlines?

Please reference your Exhibitor Center for guidance. If you need additional assistance, please email

My proposal was selected, but I need to replace or add speakers to my session. Is that possible?

Once submitted, each session goes through a stringent planning cycle based on the speakers and information provided during the Call for Speakers. If your proposal is accepted but the speakers are incorrect or later replaced, the session may need to be rescheduled or canceled and/or the speaker may become ineligible for a waiver, which would inconvenience the speaker. Approval of speaker changes is at the discretion of the planning team and may be denied. Please note that the standard Audio Visual package will not change to accommodate more than two speakers. Additional microphones and other supporting equipment is available at your own expense.

My proposal was selected. I’m not a speaker, but I want to help my speakers. What can I do?

Official decisions are relayed by email from

Please encourage speakers to look for these notifications and read them carefully to understand next steps. Speakers must log into their online Speaker Center to update personal information, sign their speaker consent form, access registration instruction, and review deadlines and logistical information that will contribute to the success of their presentation. You will not be able to see some sections of the Speaker Center, but there are helpful FAQs available to you without logging in.

Why is legal approval required before certain client speakers obtain a conference registration waiver?

Some state, local, and federal government agencies or organizations do not permit their employees to accept gifts from companies doing business with them. IBM reviews potential gift recipients to ensure that we are compliant with any local country, state rules, or laws. Once IBM Legal has reviewed the applicable legal and regulatory requirements, speakers will be contacted with further instructions. This process applies to all potential speaker conference pass recipients.

Can sponsors purchase additional badges?

Yes, there are three options available to sponsors for purchasing badges in addition to the ones included in sponsorship packages. Please contact Customer Service at or 800-227-4374 for assistance.

Who can we contact for questions regarding registration or hotel reservations?

Please contact Customer Service at or 800-227-4374 for assistance.

Travel and transportation

Airport Information

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is the closest major airport is a 25-minute drive from downtown. The Oakland International Airport (OAK) is a 35-minute drive over the Bay Bridge and is also accessible by BART. The San Jose International Airport (SJC) is a one-hour drive from the South Bay, accessible by Caltrain.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
The Oakland International Airport (OAK)
San Jose International Airport (SJC)

Airport Transportation

Airport transportation is not provided. Consider taking BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to/from the airport. It's a quick, green easy, low cost alternative to a cab. For complete BART airport service information, visit

For extensive airport transfer information, check airport websites here:

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
The Oakland International Airport (OAK)
San Jose International Airport (SJC)

Conference Transportation

Think conference shuttles will be provided between official Think hotels and the Moscone Center or BART station except those within walking distance. For details, view the Think Transportation Guide.

The best way to get yourself from place-to-place around Think venues and activities is to walk. Make sure your're wearing comfortable walking shoes to get around!

How do I request a visa invitation?

Learn how to request a visa invitation letter here. Please note that you are responsible for submitting your visa application to your local embassy/consulate; conference management will not submit on your behalf.

Public Transportation - BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)

Reduce your carbon footprint and see the city via BART! Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) connects the San Francisco Peninsula with the surrounding Bay Area. The Powell Street BART station is a short walk from the Moscone Center. For more information, schedules, and station locations visit

Travel Tips

During February, temperatures usually run from the high 60 degrees Fahrenheit to low 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Dressing in layers for meeting rooms is suggested.

San Francisco is a city with temperate, though unpredictable weather. When you visit, you should bring layers of clothing - everything from short to long sleeves, as well as a coat for foggy mornings and cool evenings.

To get a more timely sense of the weather, you may visit the weather page on SF Gate, one of the local news sources for the Bay Area. You will be able to find information about current conditions, as well as a 5-day forecast.

What is the best way to get to my hotel from the airport?

Travelers may choose from taxi, rideshare app services, shuttles, trains, and public transportation. Options and prices vary by airport. Please check here for the best option for you.