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Returning to Enterprise Connect in Person
The signs of spring are upon us: Allergies. Redwing blackbirds in the backyard. The Bears making disastrous quarterback decisions. And maybe, hopefully, the beginnings of relief from a year of pandemic and lockdown.
For me and my Enterprise Connect team, this spring means the start to an intense planning process for our show’s return to in-person events, as we prepare for Enterprise Connect Orlando 2021, which is set for Sept. 27 – 29 at (where else) the Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando, Fla. This will be a hybrid event, with a concurrent digital component for those who aren’t able to travel. But with the vaccine rollouts accelerating and states and localities allowing more business openings, we feel good about the prospect for holding an in-person event at the end of September.
This won’t be like any Enterprise Connect we’ve put on or you’ve ever attended. First and foremost, everything we do at this show will be scrutinized to make sure it’s done to the best standards of safety and cleanliness. This is a moving target, so I can’t tell you today what all of these measures will look like in September. But we will be providing continual updates as we build out our plan for the event.
It’ll also be different because so many people are so eager to get out and resume their businesses and careers on something like the footing they’d become accustomed to prior to the pandemic. Enterprise Connect is always a congenial event and our attendees value the networking and personal connections they experience there, but I think this show will be on another level. Whatever restrictions our safety protocols might dictate, I’m confident that the vibe at this September show will be… joyous.
And, of course, a big part of the networking and career-building relies on the industry experts who provide the in-depth, vendor-neutral information and insights that make up our program. I’m happy to say that our program committee has begun engaging with these folks, and we’re excited about the ideas that are percolating and the direction that our conversations are taking. We’re planning to post the first set of program sessions in mid-to-late April, so definitely stay tuned.
Likewise, our exhibitors are eager to join us and meet in person with their customers on the show floor and in other functions throughout the venue. Again, I want to stress that we’re devoting a huge effort to making sure that the show floor will be a place where our attendees feel comfortable spending time and engaging with their technology providers and partners.
The pandemic year transformed our industry, and it transformed the work lives of the people we serve. We’re starting to enter the next phase, when we deal with the return to offices, the lasting appeal of remote work, and all of the other mega-trends that will translate into countless day-to-day decisions that enterprise communications professionals will have to make in the months and years ahead. Enterprise Connect has always been the place where the industry comes together to exchange and debate ideas about the future of communications and collaboration technology, and that will be truer than ever this Sept. 27 – 29. I hope you’ll save the dates on your calendar and plan to join us in Orlando if you can.