It’s that time of year again. Enterprise Connect is upon us. As usual the conference will be held the third week of March, in the Gaylord Palms hotel in Orlando Florida. This is without question, my busiest week of the year, and arguably the busiest month of the year. More on that below, but first some thoughts about the venue.
One of the most common reactions to Enterprise Connect is feint disgust about the Gaylord. The venue is something I defend. Of course, there are plenty of places I’d rather be, but it isn’t that bad as conference venues go. I am generally at EC for four days: Sunday – Thursday. In that period, I am unlikely to leave the hotel at all during daylight hours and maybe only once in total for a dinner. I figure: if I am going to be stuck inside for that long, then the illusion of the outdoors is the next best thing. The Gaylord Palms offers a lot of natural light, waterfalls, plants, alligators, and even a sailboat. I actually think twice about the weather (for a second) when the host queries: “outside or inside table?” In terms of the actual conference, there isn’t much to say about big rooms for keynotes and exhibit halls other than the Gaylord offers them too. I will pass thru the Avaya bridge/tunnel probably 25 times in four days, and yes, that’s better than walking thru a Vegas casino, taking a taxi, or walking thru dubious convention center streets. Despite the hotel being so huge, the rooms are never too far away.
The Gaylord Palms is indeed just a hotel, in fact a Marriott. However, it is only about 20 minutes from a major airport (with direct flights to Denver), has (at least in the past) served me cider, offers a reasonable pool and climate, and the Cowboy steak is one of my favorite ribeyes. It is certainly better than many alternative locations that come to mind.
Now, back to the busiest week of the year. Do not confuse busy with productive. I actually get very little done at EC. The reason the week is so busy is because everyone is there.