Earlier today, IBM officially kicked off awareness and registration for the Connect 2013, January 27-31 in Orlando, Florida, USA. Connect is not a new name or conference, but rather an expansion of mission and scope for the Lotusphere events of the past two decades.

Image:IBM Connect 2013, now with more Lotusphere; registration open!

For the last few years, IBM has offered parallel events as part of the Lotusphere conference, including Connect 2012. The Connect 2012 sessions were focused on solutions and adoption, and attracted a line-of-business management audience. Those business leaders came from marketing departments, human resources, sales, product development, and research organizations. Prior to and including 2012, we have had CIO tracks, business tracks, mini-conferences, and other events that have run right under your noses as part of Lotusphere.

As part of our leadership in the area of social business, there is a sense that the message and content of Connect has the opportunity to grow and provide even more useful content for multiple audiences. The format of keynotes, sessions, round tables, labs, and exhibits is not exclusively a delivery mechanism for content for architects or for business managers, and a broader mission and scope means we can deliver more of what is needed for all of those audiences.

If you are an IT professional and have come to rely on Lotusphere for technical training content, the broader event banner changes nothing. Lotusphere will continue to run as a technical program, with multiple tracks, within IBM Connect. You might even find the opportunity to attend sessions beyond your focus useful, a way to broaden your horizons. On the other hand, you may simply just want to know that your friends will still be there, hanging out in Kimono's singing karaoke after birds-of-a-feather sessions on XPages or user groups. We will.

The call for abstracts should be coming in the next couple of weeks. The early bird discount expires this month; if you are interested in speaking but also in the discount, we have always made things right for people selected to speak after registering. I know we need to get more content on the website covering the details of the conference, which will further help you justify the trip to yourself, your management, or colleagues. It's coming.

There has been some good discussion about the new conference name on Tom Duff's blog as well as Susan Bulloch's. I, too, see this as a natural evolution, just as the other IBM software events have broad names that provide a way to adapt to new technologies and solutions every year, without worrying about the branding (Examples include: Information on Demand, Pulse, Impact, Innovate). I'll see you in Orlando in January, just as I have every year since 1996 (well, all bar one).

Link: ibm.com: IBM Connect 2013 >

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