One week until Social Connections VII in Stockholm

Whoa! Where did the time go…? It seems like just a few short weeks ago that we were in Prague announcing that our next event would be this November in Stockholm. And here we are already, in the beginning of November, only one week away from Social Connections VII! Exciting times…exciting indeed!

First things first, I wanted to mention the truly awesome team who are responsible for organizing Social Connections’ 7th event. Without this team, there would be no event. Period. From organizing the venue and securing fabulous locations for the receptions. To making sure we have everything we are going to need covered – from the big things like sponsors and sessions to the small stuff like pens and notepads. And it’s also worth noting that every member of our team, past and present, does this work pro bono since the very first Social Connections event was held in July, 2011. If you do not know who the team is, be sure and check out our team page.

networking1For Social Connections VII; we have over 140 attendees registered. Some familiar faces but a lot of new ones! Stockholm is going to be a real hotbed for fresh social business and IBM Connections discussions! I am personally really excited, not only to see some of my old friends, but to make new ones. And a neat little fact: Once VII is done, we’ll have had over 1,000 Social Connections attendees over 3 year at 7 events! That’s a lot of networking!

We continue to have some great organisations sponsoring the event this time around, 11 in total. And they have a similar story to the attendees – some familiar sponsors and some new ones! We are so pleased and thankful, not only the long-term sponsors we’ve had over many events, but those new ones we’ve gained this time. It’s so rewarding for us to have these business partners, ISVs and vendors seeing the value of our event and putting their money where their mouth is, giving us the resources to make the conference happen. We always hope to provide a truly great environment where the sponsors can connect with our attendees and share their ideas and solutions with the community in a non-sales atmosphere. Be sure to participate in Speed Sponsoring on Thursday evening for your chance to meet each sponsor and win great prizes!

a3a137ab61d1c165a4578dc90c7f262a1Another thing we are excited about is the gala reception. It is a tradition for us to gather in a more relaxed environment and keep the conversations going. A chance to “be social” if you will. The gala in Stockholm is shaping up to be, dare I say, the best yet. Did you ever think you would have the chance to wine and dine at the world renown photography museum, Fotografiska? We didn’t either! And as we are completely SOLD OUT for the gala reception, we know the attendees are excited too! It is a bit unfortunate that we had to cap the attendance for the gala but we hope that that everyone who couldn’t get a seat understands and appreciates that it’s not a case of not wanting you there, but we just didn’t have the budget to invite everyone.

As I said from the start, we are excited! Can you tell? And if you haven’t registered for the event yet, be sure to act quick as there are only a few spots remaining!

We look forward to seeing everyone in Stockholm next week!

Social Connections
Although IBM Connections has been in the marketplace since 2007 it is still a relatively new product by IBM/Lotus standards. The larger LUGs (Lotus User Groups – such as UKLUG and ILUG) tend to focus on traditional Lotus technologies – Notes, Domino, a little Sametime and TDI with lots of the newer XPages thrown in the mix. The WUGs (WebSphere User Groups) tend to concentrate on core WebSphere technologies such as the Application Server, Portal and Process Server. In addition, these events can be very technical in nature. Therefore we feel there is a definite space for a Connections user group with a strong focus on social collaboration technology, aimed at both existing and prospective customers and partners, and at individuals with both business and technical perspectives. We meet twice annually, in late Spring/early Summer and again in late Autumn/Fall, and from 2015 onwards we will be splitting the events between the USA and Europe. In addition, through the use of these great social tools, we aim to keep a dynamic and lively online community going all-year round! The events will be social in nature, with a strong desire for real face-to-face networking and knowledge sharing as well as delivery of useful content.