I have to tell you about RIPE70.
RIPE70 was held in the Okura hotel in Amsterdam. Very nice hotel. Nice pool, sauna, bars etc etc. Amsterdam was very nice too. Great restaurants, picturesque streets and canals. Only downsides were the lethal nature of the roads and the beer. Re the roads you have to look out for cars, cyclists and trams. All on different roadways. I made it back alive. As far as beer goes all I can say is Heiniken. Nuff said.
So far so good. The purpose of this post though is not to tell you what a great time I had. 5* hotel, beer, cocktails, great food etc. It is to reinforce the value of attending such meetings.
Even if you don’t go to the talks, and I did go to a few, the real value is in the corridor chats. At RIPE, just as at most internet conferences, as long as you don’t spout rubbish, you can expect to be sitting down for a coffee with some real heavy hitters in the networking game. Or a beer. Or food.
This industry must be amongst the most egalitarian going. The opportunity to make useful contacts is very real in attending these conferences. You do have to understand how to play the game though.
I remember at the last LINX meeting there were a couple of sales guys stood wearing suits talking to themselves. That’s because they didn’t get it. If the sales people had turned up in jeans, or shorts and t-shirts it would have been a different story.
LONAP attends these meetings because a big proportion of our membership sends engineers to them. It’s a great place for sorting out ongoing issues (planning bandwidth upgrades for example) and meeting new prospects.
It isn’t unusual to have over 50 conversations during a RIPE meeting. Conversations that might normally be categorised as sales or customer support touch-points. You try having that many useful conversations during a normal business week
They don’t have to be sales conversations. Could be pure engineering idea swapping.
Anyway if you’ve never been you need to sell it to the boss. See ya.
PS check out a load of posts from RIPE69 here.
PPS just got some meeting stats off RIPE:
– 678 attendees checked in
– 166 first-time attendees
– Attendees from 58 countries
– 143 presentations
– 2,691 ratings for presentations submitted