- The "Mac Track" was greatly expanded this year. What began in 2008 as a Saturday morning only session has now grown to a full day of programming on Thursday. I want to publicly thank Brett Burney for all of his hard work to make this a reality. By all accounts, it was very well received by the attendees. I attended each of this year’s sessions, and all of the speakers were outstanding, entertaining, and informative. I believe that TechShow would benefit from expanding the "Mac Track" even more next year and including more in depth sessions and possibly at least one session devoted to the iPad.
- There seemed to be an unwarranted amount of skepticism regarding cloud computing (SaaS) at many of the sessions this year, even the ones supposedly devoted to that very topic. The same old "concerns" were given, but they were not based necessarily in fact. I have no doubt that cloud based options will continue to be useful and grow in popularity. I find it somewhat amusing that people have no hesitation at all in using on-line banking features, but for some reason they believe that cloud options are still not secure enough for their client data.
- The iPhone was also repeatedly attacked and accused of not being secure, but less than two minutes later, the same panel was advocating using a Kindle to present items in Court. Of course, the Kindle has no password protection or security features included whatsoever. My security guru, Finis Price, believes that virtually all smartphones have similar security "risks", and I believe that the vast majority of them can be mitigated through the use of plain old common sense.
- TechShow as a whole would benefit from being more platform independent. The organizers should remember that not everyone uses Outlook, Word, or Windows, yet many of the sessions that were marketed toward a "general" audience tended to inordinately favor them. Also, having more "how to" sessions, including step-by-step instructions and/or demonstrations would be beneficial, perhaps even taking place in smaller, more intimate settings. For instance, how great would a session on making killer trial presentations using Keynote be? Or maybe a Keynote vs. PowerPoint showdown?
- On a more positive note, it was great to have the first Mac-specific vendor at the TechShow Expo this year. Marketcircle had a booth exhibiting their products, Daylite and Billings. I had several attendees tell me that they found the information presented at their booth to be quite helpful and informative. The folks from Marketcircle told me that they were very pleased with the reception they received, and I hope they will exhibit again next year and bring other Mac vendors with them.
- Finally, one of my favorite parts of TechShow is the people. There were new presenters this year, including my friend Finis Price (who did an outstanding job in all of his seminars and with his honest Twitter coverage). It was great to make new friends and also catch up with old ones, such as Brett Burney; Adriana Linares; Ben Schorr; Larry and Ariel from Rocket Matter; Jack from Clio; Amin from Marketcircle; and many others.
All in all TechShow was a great success this year. I truly appreciate the opportunity to give the presentations I gave, and I hope to be invited back in the future. I invite my readers who attended TechShow to submit their thoughts about the conference using my comments section. If you missed it this year, mark your calendars now for next year’s show, which will be held April 11 – 13, 2011, in Chicago.