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Enterprise hits and misses - Google pushes back return-to-office as Omicron looms, hybrid events return, and AWS re:Invents (kinda)

Jon Reed Profile picture for user jreed December 6, 2021
This week - AWS re:Invent gets a critical review as the keynotes shuffle. As Omicron raises new pandemic questions, Google pushes back return-to-office. Will hybrid events gain steam? Your whiffs get meta, and crypto gets mutable.

Lead story - The future of events is hybrid, but how do we get there?

With the Omicron variant as (yet another) wake-up call, spring event planners are in scramble-or-pray mode. That's where hybrid events could come in. But how do we pull it off?

Yes, the learning curve on hybrid is steep, but it's a mistake to assume we don't have a playbook at all. One individual I turn to is Paul Richards of HuddlecamHD, studio cam wizard and hybrid/virtual event pioneer. He's next up in my virtual events series: The future of events is hybrid, but how do we get there? Tips and visuals with Paul Richards of HuddleCamHD.

Richards didn't become so production-savvy overnight. He built his expertise over time, and so you can you (and I). He did it via a grassroots team of StreamGeeks, a group of video production experts who "refuse to settle for mediocrity" with livestreamed events.

Yeah, that's a problem:

I haven't heard anyone say they attended an "amazing" enterprise event this entire year - and we're eleven months in. Richards believes it's about learning, but learning that's fun.

During our video, Richards counted down his top hybrid tips, including:

  • Get up and out of your comfort zone.
  • Plan your climax and build from there - the climax is the ultimate value you hope to deliver.
  • Extend the value of your entire event, by creating a dedicated networking group to extend the value.
  • Hire entertainment if your specialty is education. Hire an educator if your specialty is entertainment.
  • Charge for access (we get into how you can potentially charge for an interactive, "VIP" style track. It's a very compelling format few event planners have bothered to try.

There's more tips where that came from, and a good debate on how to entertain B2B audiences - and if we even need to. Bottom line: event planners need to let go of the past (including past attendance numbers). 

It's time to accept it: we're never coming back - not to how we were. For events, that could still be a good thing. But only if we push for better; only if we figure out that balance between those who want to be on the ground, and those who are virtual.

Diginomica picks - my top stories on diginomica this week

Vendor analysis, diginomica style. Thanksgiving might be over, but enterprise drama (and shows) are not.

AWS re:Invent - Kurt published his critical review of AWS re:Invent, which began with an underwhelming AWS-for-dummies day one keynote: re:Invent 2021 - AWS emphasizes service packaging and usability over raw infrastructure "As the event wore on, I wondered if I missed the memo announcing that re:Invent had been re-invented from a forum for cloud experts into a C-level tutorial and schmooze fest." 

Salesforce did its best to deprive Stuart of a decent night's sleep grab some headlines away, and it worked:Lonely no more - Salesforce names Bret Taylor as co-CEO alongside Marc Benioff. Zuora also got in on the action: Salesforce's multi-year renewal provides Zuora with a big Subscription Economy proof point.

It was a SAPpy kind of week as well, centered on Derek's on-the-ground forays at the UKISUG annual user group meetup:

A few more vendor picks, without the quotables:

Jon's grab bag - Neil examines the role of AI in the defense sector in What is the role of AI in pandemic response? The National Security Commission on AI provides a framework. Derek does the same in the UK, re: algorithmic guidelines (UK government publishes standard and guidance for AI algorithmic transparency). Finally, Clearview AI plays the "misunderstood" card, but will it hold up? Stuart updates the (mis)adventures in UK follows Australia in clamping down on US facial recognition firm Clearview AI with £17 million data privacy fine.

Best of the enterprise web

Waiter suggesting a bottle of wine to a customer

My top seven


Overworked businessman


We had some doozies this week:

Something tells me the metaverse is going to keep the whiffs column well-stocked in the new year:

Oh, and about that crypto theft:

Heard from Google lately about your TOS?

Oh, and as the holidays roll in, so do the un-predictions: Keep an eye on the diginomica home page, we're going live soon... This is the opposite of a whiff, but since we're almost at holiday times, might at well leave you on a spiffy note:

See you next time...

If you find an #ensw piece that qualifies for hits and misses - in a good or bad way - let me know in the comments as Clive (almost) always does. Most Enterprise hits and misses articles are selected from my curated @jonerpnewsfeed.

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