For those of us who do tech for a living, there are of course a world of more focused and vertical-specific trade shows and conferences that are a little easier to rationalize in the expense budget. If you are considering attending a conference or two in 2012, here are some candidates where you can share ideas with peers and get courted by tech vendors. Oh yeah, there probably will be some neat chachkes, too.
We’ve broken the shows out by category, for review by your team. We’ve included only shows occurring in the United States, and some obvious candidates (such as Gartner’s Symposium/ITXPO) have yet to set their 2012 dates and locations. And of course this is only a small sampling of what continues to be a lucrative trade show industry. If you know of or are involved with a show you think would be useful to your peers, please add basic information and a link to the show’s site in the comments section of this post.
A wide range of SANS Institute training programs are available in the Crescent City, ranging from Intrusion Detection to locking down virtualized environments. There’s also a “boot camp” if you have team members who need an overall refresher course.
10 Regional Sites in the U.S; two-day events in the Spring and Fall
This show promotes itself as being “:at the intersection of Information Security, Physical Security, Compliance, IT Audit, Computer Forensics, Enterprise Risk Management, Business Continuity and Security Management.” The focus is at the managerial and policy level, but the full range of security issues is covered.
The 33rd installment of this “flagship” conference promises once again to be about as serious as you can get about security. Much more about research papers and engineering updates than vendor pitches, this is a no-nonsense conference.
This one-day networking event spans every aspect of small business operations, but of course there will be a focus on technology - businesses spend a lot of money on technology, after all. “Innovation,” as always, is the keyword.
Apple enthusiasts love to talk Apple, and there’s no better place than the venerable Macworld Expo (re-branded as iWorld). Topics and products range from consumer innovations (which always grab the headlines) to business applications.
This show will focus primarily on networking issues related to IP-based communications, such as Telepresence, Convergent Billing, Broadband Wireless VoIP and QoS. Vendors and manufacturers offer seminars as well a peer-group events.
An extention of the well-established Embed Systems Conference, this umbrella of various shows will focus on education in a variety of arenas, including embedded hardware and software design, total systems integration, power management, android and embedded security. There also will be a Black Hat security breakout.
If it’s tech, it’s probably at Interop. The venerable trade show (this year is the 26th edition) remains largely devoted to serious business tech, and so this year’s menu includes the Cloud, Desktop Virtualization, Enterprise 2.0 and “Future of Work” - whatever that means.
The networking giant offers a series of educational programs for developers all the way to executives at its annual conference. An IT Management Program promises to focus on the business impact of tech decisions.
Face it - everybody is a Microsoft customer or partner on some level, and TechEd (this year in its 20th edition) is a one-stop bonanza to get informed on what is coming next for the tech behemoth. Sessions range from hind-on labs with new releases to primers on the Microsoft professional certification process.
Auditing wonks, rejoice - this show is just for you. Topics covered will include social media, building a risk-based annual audit plan, and other course a general discussion of IT Governance practices.
As is you needed another reason to attend one of the best Web search marketing and optimization tools, this year it is moving to Hawaii. Social Media is obviously high on the agenda, as well as tactics to get on the good side of an increasingly grumpy Google.
The O’Reilly developer show is a staple for coders in the leading go-anywhere platform. This year’s agenda has not been set, but it is sure to be packed with serious tech from folks who enjoy that kind of stuff.
Unless you have an incredibly cool job, you probably won’t be able to justify putting this show in your budget, but how cool would it be to attend a conference about launching satellites and space planes?