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Top 2017 IT conferences you need to know about

Four IT pros offer up their advice on the best IT conferences to attend this summer, including smaller gatherings with better networking opportunities.

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The summer of 2017 IT conferences is just beginning, and there are plenty of opportunities this year for IT pros to travel, network and learn about the topics important to them. Four experts share the top 2017 IT conferences they are most looking forward to and why.

Willem Bagchus
messaging and collaboration specialist, United Bank

Enterprise Mobility Exchange. I'm actually speaking at that one. My main interest in going to these conferences is meeting the people who attend. You can be in IT for a long time and see a lot of things, but it's only by talking with others that you really learn how things actually work in production. You're going to pick up pointers, and that just makes you better at what you do. 

Steve Damadeo
IT infrastructure manager, Festo

Steve Damadeo, IT infrastructure manager, FestoSteve Damadeo

ET6 Exchange is a small environment and gives you the opportunity to engage one-on-one in industry verticals and see what is working for people and what's not. We'll all be doing research and talking to vendors as projects or needs come up within our organizations. At IT conferences, you get the opportunity to meet startups you wouldn't normally hear of otherwise. And a lot of innovation happens at the startup level.

Rory Monaghan
independent consultant

Rory Monaghan, independent consultant Rory Monaghan

I tend to prefer independent events like Midwest Management Summit, E2EVC or IT/Dev Connections. My favorite is E2EVC. The topics cover a wide scope of virtualization. Presenters may drink a bottle of beer while presenting, the audience is typically pretty engaged and it is very inexpensive. All the previous U.S. events have been held directly after Citrix Synergy, which has hurt it a little, as people tend to be pretty burnt out.

Steve Athanas
director of platforms and systems engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Steve Athanas, director of platforms and systems engineeringSteve Athanas

The 800-pound gorilla is VMworld. That's a don't-miss event even if you're only tangentially into virtualization. The problem with really large conferences is that you can almost get lost. When you go to a VMware User Group, you can meet 50 people easily and make networking connections.

In education we have Educause. Those are always a gold mine, to realize how other organizations like you are handling problems. 

Next Steps

Comprehensive 2017 conference schedule

Look back at VMworld 2016

Highlights from Citrix Synergy 2016

This was last published in May 2017

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