When you have worked for 18 years in Hewlett Packard Enterprise you sometimes think you've seen it all. Oh boy, this is where I start to sound like my dad 8-)
Every year, I'm either speaking or visiting lots of different events. All 'Arubians' were trying to convince me since the beginning of the merger that there is nothing like Atmosphere. EMEA Atmosphere is an event in the box. Personally, I think it's like Матрёшка. Don't worry here’s the English translate: Matryoshka doll. ‘Ah-ha!’ I hear you say, I think everybody knows these dolls from their childhood. Or it could be me getting really old now! According to Wikipedia these Russian dolls are:
' a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another'
Atmosphere is like this since it consists of multiple events in one, the following:
- Partner summit
- IT Executive Forum
- Media & Analyst track
Just to set expectations the USA event is marketed as the:
Largest mobility conference on Earth
… and EMEA only as:
The leading mobility event in Europe
I had the pleasure to be part of a great team that was responsible for planning Airheads sessions at EMEA Atmosphere 2016. The event took place at NAU Resort, Algarve, Portugal from May 23rd to May 26th. When I was working as engineer we always used the phrase:
'This is real technical weather'
Well, I had that feeling a couple of times but as my father taught me discipline first and work hard. Personally, I arrived Monday evening with a plane full of Dutch partners and Aruba colleagues. This was a great start and I immediately met lots of smart people that were explaining to me how they use our products.
Tuesday morning I walked early to the venue to register myself. When I arrived at the venue lots of people wanted to take #selfies with me and I thought I finally made it as Rock Star. But NO it was a contest where you could win some great prizes. At least I had my 2 minutes of fame.
The keynote that morning with Dom Orr and Alain Carpentier was a full house. It was a great keynote with the last year’s journey and achievements. As an Aruba community, we have made lots of progress. Go #GenMobile!
During the rest of the day, I either had to present or followed technical sessions in the Airheads track. The amount of technical knowledge available was outstanding. In the evening a reception was organised to mingle, have some great discussions and, of course, have some fun.
Well, I should add, not too much fun for me because we had to dry run the technical keynote for Wednesday. Technical keynote I hear you say? Oh yeah, the keynote on Wednesday is all about new solutions and innovations with live demos. There’s nothing better than to see products live. Nick Newton asked me to support the Meridian mobile engagement keynote demonstration. Enthusiastic as I was I said ‘YES!!!!’ But he didn't tell me upfront that I had to swallow a Bluetooth beacon and practice this 40 times 8-(. Anything for the team!
After the keynote on Wednesday, I took the time to look around the Tech Playground & Airheads Lounge. At the Tech Playground, multiple sponsors and Aruba products are running live and can be played with. This, in combination with all the experts available, gets you up to speed quickly on different products and solutions. At the Airheads Lounge, you could register yourself for this great community and read emails in a relaxing environment.
Everybody told me that Wednesday is 'THE EVENING' since it is ‘appreciation night’. The Appreciation Party is always at a special location and nobody knows where it is. Busses arrive at the hotel and take you to the secret location. I was glad they told at least the bus drivers where the secret location was, otherwise it would have been a little too creepy for me. On entering the bus each person received an envelope with all the details for the evening. The secret location was a race track in the mountains. Some people had a golden ticket in their envelope. This ticket was good for a special drive on the race track. I arrived at the bus with a colleague and, gentleman that I am, I let him enter first. I hear you thinking ‘oh no’ and YES he was the lucky recipient of a golden ticket. Oh well, so close, it's the story of my life, I’m used to it! During the party, I spoke to many organisations in different industries and it's great to hear all the experiences and ideas on our product portfolio.
Thursday was another great day, I saw some more excellent technical sessions and had the opportunity to present myself, which is always fun. Then in the afternoon the event closed.
For me, EMEA Atmosphere is a unique event. The amount of technical expertise and sessions is truly amazing and greatly improves your knowledge within few days. During the event, I met so many people with great ideas. This really motivates me to drive this EMEA technical community even further. I hope to see you all on the EMEA Atmosphere in 2017. I’ll leave you with this souvenir from the event. Apologies in advance!
To get some more information or impression of the event see the following URL:
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