Magnificent Chicago

Monday, July 28th, 2008

I’m settling down after a long pleasant day in Chicago. While I visited the Sears tower yesterday, today I spent much time at the Navy Pier for HostingCon.

Chicago DeliThis morning I had a healthy meal at a local Chicago deli and then walked a few blocks to the Navy Pier. Walking the length of the Navy Pier itself is a solid 10 to 15 minute walk. If I had more time I would certainly check out the attractions or even bring the family for a vacation.

After getting my badge and swag from the registration desk, I attended the “Marketing Round Table” moderated by Brett Tabke. The information was nothing new to me but, I found the insightful angles from the panelists (all respected professionals in their field) to be of notable value. I joked with Michael Muise of Rconnection (of about the uptime track record for twitter, before running to my next destination.

I met with Rob Ninow and Chris Finken from OrangeSoda to discuss some business development topics and get warmed up to the conference itself. Who knows, maybe soon phpFoX will be a suggested offering in the OrangeSoda promotion package? ;)

I arrived late to the next session titled “How to Measure Recurring Revenue and Increase Profits by Design”. While I did not gather as much useful information as I had hoped, I think the e-onlinedata Dashboard platform has a solid potential to be an important piece of software for any business decision maker. I hope to talk directly with the speaker Marci Gagnon more in the future.

For the Conference Luncheon, I randomly met up with Rodney Giles from Eleven2 as well as a cadre of similarly minded individuals with which we talked about some challenges facing webhosts as well as various solutions and opportunities in the space. Rodney, as it turns out was on my train in from Midway Airport. I hope to talk with Rodney & friends more throughout the conference.

Mike walks through the secure zoneAfter lunch Corey and Mike from Ubiquity Hosting, brought me to their new state of the art Oak Brook IL data center. Biometrics, shiny surfaces and decorative lights really gave the center a clean, polished and futuristic appeal. I will be spending some more time with Corey and Mike this week.

The Conference networking reception was a relaxed atmosphere and very friendly all around. I met with some conference goers to talk about various web hosting related items: Richard Powell from Hostpond, Ryan M. Gyure from Fusionxhost, Martin J. Horan from ftpToday, Chris Merriman, Maha Kashani of GramTel, Rob Moore of Demo Wolf, Someone from GoDaddy’s security team, Ed Baker and Troy Augustine of iNet Interactive. (Not to mention several others which I did not record their names nor exchange cards – whom I have remembered their faces and I will see them tomorrow at their booths – I do hope the two jet lagged gentlemen from Ireland get some solid sleep for tomorrow!)

Chicago in the late afternoonI’m very happy with the conference thus far. I look forward to touring the booths tomorrow, meeting more contacts and making new acquaintances.

edit: fixed the glorious spelling error in the post title!