Even tech trade show organizers are not immune to the hurdles facing enterprise IT staffs, thought the Puss as he jetted back to Beantown from TechXNY in New York last week. Event organizers had installed in the pressroom a WLAN for reporters, but problems with the secure ID and a WEP key that was about 42 characters long prevented anyone from using it. Eventually, the IS folks had no choice but to do what the industry constantly warns against—turn off the WEP security. Problem solved.
Although security was certainly on the minds of those producing the show, which featured an FBI representative as a keynote speaker, El Gato and other attendees were surprised at the lack of bag checks or any extra security at the Javits Center.
As His Hirsuteness expected, attendance was down at the show. Organizers camouflaged the fact fairly well by clustering exhibitors into one section of the hall, but the Katt thought the sparse number of folks was most notable during the attendee-lite keynotes.
PalmSource CEO Dave Nagel, a brilliant science guy but not the most dynamic speaker, had a neat trick to get attendees to sit through his keynote. The CEOs audience didnt budge from their seats, armed with the knowledge that their business cards, which were collected at the beginning of the keynote, made them eligible to win a Palm OS device from one of the companys hardware licensees. Nagel drew the names of a handful of lucky winners from a bowl at the end of his speech.
Shuttling from New York to Boston in time for the Collaborate East conference there, the shuttle-weary Furball caught Lotus Software General Manager Al Zollars keynote, in which he extolled the virtues of contextual collaboration. Although instant messaging was a big topic of the speech, the Furry One found it more notable that Zollar did not seem to mention Notes or Domino even once. The Tabby thought it signaled a shift from the venerable groupware platform toward other methods of collaboration. Knowledge management didnt garner a mention either, so Spence assumes that the term has been buried in the buzzword bone yard.
Zollar didnt drag many of his co-workers across the river in Cambridge to the event, and Lotus didnt even bother having a booth at the show. With the number of exhibitors almost seeming to match attendees, Spencer thought the show should take a cue from its sponsor, Advanstar, and conduct a virtual event next time. Spence would consider attending from home.