When it comes to keeping up with new products, services, and innovations in the tech industry, the realm of conferences and trade shows are largely dominated by the vendor/sponsors. Such is the case with VMworld, Cisco Live, EMC World, Microsoft Tech Ed, Dell World, and others. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- these vendors normally keep the events buzzing with exciting new announcements and informative events. Other vendors are invited, and a good time is had by all, yada, yada, yada.Tech Field Day represents a refreshing change. The event is deliberately set up in such a way that the attendees (who are deliberately chosen independent bloggers and freelance writers) are not obligated in any way to write or say nice things about the vendors. While Tech Field Day is an invitation-only event (you cannot buy tickets), it is immediately available to the tech world at large via video streaming and through live tweeting by the invited attendees. Here's what Tech Field Day is, what it isn't, and why you should care.
What Tech Field Day Isn't
Unlike field day in school, this field day doesn't come with being picked for teams last, scraped knees, sprained ankles, and grass stained pants.
Tech Field Day is not a large conference or week-long trade show at a large venue filled with thousands of attendees and hundreds of vendors. Each Tech Field Day event is comprised of a select few vendor sessions, attended by ten to fifteen delegates, plus a handful of event staff. Travel to the event and lodging during the event is paid for by the sponsoring vendors, however, these funds are pooled so that no particular vendor could be attributed to having paid the admission for any particular blogger or writer. Hence, it encourages open and honest questioning of the vendor's presentation, as well as candid reporting of and commentary on the vendor's presentation.
What Tech Field Day Is
You don't have to sit around watching the mailbox for your invite to Tech Field Day. Watch previous and current events on their YouTube channel and follow live event tweets.
Tech Field Day events are categorized into one of several niches: general tech events, virtualization events, networking events, wireless tech events, and events that focus on storage. Events are spread throughout the calendar year and are hosted in numerous cities across the country. Most events are held in a particular vendor's headquarters or facilities, which keeps costs down as it is not necessary to rent out huge conference halls or resort hotels.
Tech Field Day is ideal for both the vendors and the writers and bloggers. The vendors get candid, realistic feedback from the attendees. In many cases, live tweeting during the events gives attendees the opportunity to ask questions from their followers, as well. It's an excellent way for vendors to gauge real-world interest, understanding, perception, and acceptance of a given product or service. These events are far more intimate and less hectic and formal than are large conferences and trade shows, so it's an excellent opportunity to get personalized input for the vendor's ideas.
The writers and bloggers, of course, get lots of publicity and exclusive content for their publications and blogs. For example, if a vendor has introduced a new product or service to monitor VMware, the bloggers get the first opportunity to share the news, as well as the chance to ask lots of questions and learn more about the new technology.You can see some of the previous Tech Field Day events on their YouTube channel.
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