Day 1 of IDF 2009 stated on Sept. 22 and it started off strong. The event is in the West Hall of Moscone this year and occupies all 3 levels. Registration was open earlier than 7:30am (we were there) and surprisingly, a decent crowd or registrants were around pioking up their badges and gift. For this year, nice computer shoulder bags were given with water bottles to registered attendees and I must say, these were nice. Not a cheap or low budget bag at all and I am impresed on the type of quality Intel went with this year.
The theme this year is working around whiteboards. Group collaboration, thinking out loud, ideas, and rambles in a sense. Intel is trying to promote the idea that putting ideas down for all to see can enable success, new ideas, and development. It’s a great concept and with the large whiteboards placed strategically on all lobby levels, it works. The lobbies are inviting, have some demo areas with products or services to engaged attendees and limited seating. As always, keynotes, sessions, and large discussion groups are the focus here. There is an exhibit floor which Intel refers to as the Technology Showcase and it is open only during certain times of the schedule.
Intel pulled out the checkbook this year for sure. Last night’s opening of the Showcase featured not only top notch exhibitors and sponsors, but new cabinets for each station (not sure if these were designed by The Taylor Group, Intel’s house of choice) and much better food than before. Huge spreads of quality food from Moscone (SMG) catering instead of your basic F&B packages. Not cheap at all. It was hard to say if people were attracted to the food and drinks more than the items in the exhibitor’s booths themselves. One thing to note as well is that there are no custom booth’s here at this event. Intel provides the exhibitors/sponsors a packaged space made up of a system (Octanorm) extrusion and it gets larger if you of course, pay a bit more but this allows for equal exposure, space, and also make sure know one else upstages or tries to out do someone else. Other organizers practice this as well and in some circumstances, it can be an effective way to allow exhibitors to promote and sell on an even level. Another huge draw and a showing of more money spent, was the concert and performance of Maroon 5. Yes, Intel hired Maroon 5 to play in the ballrooms of the Marriott hotel last night for attendees. The mini concert was not heavily advertised (which was very smart) and it seemed to have a mixed crowd. Many attendees were wondering why this band was selected to perform for a very dynamically mixed group. There were some “older” folks that were standing in front of us complaining of the loud speakers and the bright lights and ultimately left after 30 minutes. While others just seemed out of their element in a rock concert. But, I must say, Intel again, was not afraid to pull out the checkbook.
We will back at IDF today and will have live updates via Twitter. We will also be at the CEMA networking event this evening and more details from there as well. Be sure to check back here for more observations and highlights from the various events!