Engage 2014

Sorry I’m a bit slow with this review 🙂

So Blug has got an new name, a new venue and lots of new content, but praise be to all it still has Theo Heselmans at the helm and this year was was another brilliant outing

So what made it so good?

  • An excellent turn out by IBM, yes they were a strategic partner which means that they should turn out for it but for a while now the community has really felt that IBM have not given a flying toss about them, however their behaviour during these 2 days really dispelled that feeling, major credit goes to the fact that proper high level people came and more to the point they left the lawyers at home, extra special credit goes to Suzanne Livingston who really injected life into IBM’s offerings.
  • It did not feel cheap, there was no wastage or pointless things paid for, but it felt professional and confident in what it was delivering.
  • Wide range of quality new content (I learnt a shed load)
  • Theo has the knack of getting people into the vendor hall all the time without forcing you so the vendors are more relaxed.

All in all and hour for hour it was better than the main IBM Connect conference and anyone who just went to it rather than Connect has not missed out on anything, it is without doubt the premium IBM social conference of the year for Europe.


The Venue was full but never ‘packed’, however it was standing room only at the OGS



Matt white and I did a compact version of our learning connections dev leaving quite a few stunned faces in the audience, but we also got much more audience activity and questions than we got from the audience at IBM Connect which was very gratifying.



Our room was nice and airy but a tad bright for the projector meaning quite a lot of our code snippets were lost on the watchers. ah well



As normal the conference Bag for Engage/Blug had local guides in it, a very nice touch and something other conferences should do (although this is apparently normal for academic conferences and only the commercial ones are just packed with nothing but adverts)



Talking of which here are a dozen of the reprobates venturing out in search of food and Beer



Finally as per normal LDC tried to take a serious team photo to mark the event, and per normal it did not go so well, I name this one “Everybody pointed to the favourite part of the wall” after the Rupert Fawcett Cartoon and thanks to Tim Clark for taking it.



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