I love throwing a first year conference. Don’t get me wrong — I love throwing all of our other conferences (Defrag – yr 5 and Glue – yr 3), but throwing a first year conference is special. The reason: the people coming have no expectations, or more properly, no idea what to expect — so when you deliver, people get to walk away with this stunned look on their faces.
Of course, when I was talking to vendors that haven’t ever worked with me/us before (6 months ago), plenty of them didn’t believe that we’d make Blur work. Hell, some of them didn’t believe we could make Blur work without them. They were wrong. Deeply, deeply wrong.
Late last night, I received an email from a PR person I’ve been working with confirming that Dr. Rosalind Picard of MIT would be able to join us on February 23rd for a keynote presentation. If you don’t know Dr. Picard, well, how do you not know of Dr. Picard? She’s an amazing addition to what I think was already a pretty incredible agenda.
And here’s the thing: It’s not even about the agenda. It’s about the conversations that the agenda will foster. The list of people coming to Blur — from researchers to hackers to entrepreneurs to implementers – it’s a concentration of brilliance that I simply have not ever seen before.
We’ve still got a ton of operational work to do in the next 4.5 weeks, but hey – that’s what we do (or, more properly, what my wife Kim does — spectacularly, I might add). Bottom-line: Blur is going to be a screaming success. I have no doubt that those who join us will walk away thinking it’s the kind of show and conversation that they just can’t get elsewhere. That’s not a statement of arrogance. That’s a statement borne of the experience of doing this for over a decade, and seeing the people that are registering.