I just recently returned from the O'Reilly Open Source Conference in Portland, where Infobright was exhibiting. For those of you who have not had a chance to visit Portland, it is a great location for this conference. As you walk into the Convention Center, you do not realize how big the property is until you actually find the hall where the conference is. There are these huge sprawling hallways that tend to open up and just when you thought you found the end, there is more. Walking into the hall where the exhibitors were located, there seemed to be a real sense of excitement from everyone involved, not the sense of "this is something we have to do", but more like something everyone was looking forward to. This seemed to be true for the attendees as well.
The exhibitor list ranged from all of the big companies that I expected to see, such as Oracle, Intel, O'Reilly, to quite a few of the up and comers in open source, like Akiban. One of the bigger themes seemed to be the Cloud, and it was clearly attracting a lot of interest. What I found to be most interesting was that the general intent of the attendees seemed to be education. A majority of the attendees seemed to exhibit a real interest in learning about new technologies, which for me meant the need to figure out "How do I earn their attention?". If you are reading this, chances are you already know who Infobright is and what we do, which we excel at. But to continue to grow a strong community, we have to continue to push and expand our base. This was the approach I took and it worked well.
The majority of the attendees I spoke with were unaware of Infobright and how we play a major role in the big data industry. I was able to attract many of them by discussing the core of our technology and how that can be used to solve some of the issues they face within their own businesses.
The conference itself was a hodge-podge of various technologies, which helped to keep attendees on their toes between many of the different speaker sessions that were available. They were eager to learn about new technologies, but it was a constant reminder to me that even though the big data industry is large, the general knowledge and understanding of it is mostly known to those people within the industry. There are numerous engineers and architects who were already familiar with Infobright but the vast majority were not. One of the individuals I spoke with who was already familiar with us said, "Infobright, yeah, tested it, liked it, performed great."
The weekly technical webinars Infobright puts on align with the areas of interest I saw at OSCON– helping educate people on the vast array of emerging technologies for dealing with big data. Education was why so many people came to OSCON. Don't make that a once a year proposition, continue to seek out new sources of learning.
So, for Infobright, the conference was a success and left a good impression on me for the next one. Oh, but you should definitely check out Intel's new Open Source technology Center at 01.org.