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Why Internet of Things World (and other IoT conferences) are important for the market

Jessica Groopman

Let’s be honest: the ‘Internet of Things’ is a hot market right now.

Everywhere we look, there are signals that this market is exploding. Consumer electronics as an industry has now become synonymous with connected products. From the tiniest start-ups, to the biggest technology companies in the world, we’re seeing a race to develop ‘the next big connected...we’re not quite sure what’ yet. Media coverage is prolific; legislators and regulators are desperately trying to keep up. Yet, the market remains a wild west: disorganized, inconsistent, and still confounding to the average person.

That is why conferences such as Internet of Things World are incredibly important.

iot-world-300x300Collaboration and Networking: Nevermind the ‘things,’ conferences connect the people

One of the most valuable parts of attending conferences and trade shows are the people there. From industry-specific ‘vertical’ practitioners, to executives and thought-leader heavyweights, conferences are excellent opportunities for mindshare, exposure, collaboration, and forging connections. This is especially opportune for a patchwork industry like IoT, requiring representation from hardware and software vendors, connectors, telecom, brands, agencies, analysts, investors.  With more than 4,000 attendees, there will be no shortage of opportunity to expand our understanding, applications, and opportunities within the IoT space.

Monetization across Technologies: Fostering tech-agnostic business value

By bringing together ecosystem-wide attendees, stakeholders, and investors, conferences like IoT World create fertile ground for new business, partnerships, and investments. Hackathons, exhibitions, panels, Q&A sessions, etc. facilitate not just exposure and networking, but action and decision-making. What is particularly strategic about this conference is that it’s built (through attendees, speakers, and content) to address key issues facing the market. Although many of these issues certainly involve technology, many solutions to these issues will require a technology-agnostic approach. Recent research from Altimeter Group finds that brands must transcend a technology-first mindset when thinking about IoT, applying the technology to their objectives, not the other way around.

Organization: Providing structure to a complicated landscape

Another reason industry conferences are so important for catalyzing the evolution of an early market like IoT is because they help give structure to a big mess (and not waste people’s time). IoT World has organized its agenda into a two-day event, structured primarily by business type (e.g. Industrial vs. Consumer-facing) as well as industry (e.g. Healthcare), to maximize relevance and value for attendees.  

agenda

Connecting with a connected industry

As an industry analyst and researcher, I am thrilled not only to attend IoT World (among a long list of other IoT-related conferences), but honored to be included in an all-star line up of speakers. I’ll be speaking on a panel about digital ethics, privacy, and personalization, as well as hosting the analyst breakfast on Day 2. I look forward to connecting with and facilitating conversation between others closely following this fascinating space. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to get in touch.