This weekend I make what will be my 3rd annual trek down to Orlando where Research In Motion will be staging its "WES 2008" conference all next week.
The WES show is all about the BlackBerry world, and it is a gathering of customers, VARs, software developers, content providers and other folks who are involved in purchasing, selling, developing for or otherwise supporting the BlackBerry solution. Last year's WES 2007 show was bigger and better than the 2006 version, and based on the pre-show buzz I am hopeful/expecting that WES 2008 will be bigger and better yet. The possibility of new product unveilings (BlackBerry 9000 sightings are now becoming common around the internet) from RIM as well as its growing cloud of partners and 3rd party application and solution developers only adds to the excitement.
Why do I go? I go to be part of the event, to connect with colleagues and friends old and new, to open myself up to new business opportunities, new customers, and new ideas. I go to meet in person the folks at RIM that we normally only touch via email and phone. Its one of those things that is becoming rarer than ever these days.....a real, live, technology-focused tradeshow that isn't so big that it loses its focus, yet is big enough to get excited about attending. The WES experience hearkens back to the early Palm tradeshows (called "PalmSource"), which made you feel like you were part of something special that is growing and has a chance of changing the world. My company Bachmann Software used to exhibit at PalmSource, and it was a great experience for us. I've never been to Apple's show, but from what I've read it seems like it has some of the same mojo. This year we came close to securing exhibit space at WES, but backed out at the last minute - next year for sure!
While at WES next week I plan to file blog posts each day, recounting my impressions and what I've seen. If you'll be at WES, please do look me up - send me an email at email@example.com. If not, you are of course welcome to check back here for my daily reports.
On to Orlando!