IBM Connect is not the only conference that you should attend if you are interested in the IBM collaboration/social platforms, there are many other spread out over different continents, and many of them are even free. You just pay your travel and hotel.
Next one up is Engage (formerly BLUG) arranged by Theo Heselmans and his team. This year it takes place in Eindhove, the Netherlands on March 23-24. There are less than 20 seats left for this free event with world class speakers, many of them are IBM Champions. Inhi Cho Suh, the new GM of IBM Collaboration Solutions, will be speaking at the Opening General Session together with Suzanne Livingston, Christ Crummey and Sarah Gibbons, all from IBM. There are five tracks with sessions, and if you look at the agenda I am sure you will find plenty to choose from. Theo always put on a great conference, I really wish I was able to attend! Update: there will be 43 IBM Champions attending, 33 of which will be presenting!
On April 11-13 you have EntwicklerCamp in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. This conference, which has been taking place for many years and I have heard much good about, is arranged by Rudy Knegt and the cost is €1499 for the three day conference. If you look at the agenda, you will see that there are sessions not only in German but also in English. Many of the sessions are presented by IBM Champions.
ICON US (formerly IamLUG) did not take place last year, but in 2016 Chris Miller and his team is back with a two day vertual conference. It takes place May 9-10 and you can register here. Seats (even if they are virtual) are limited.
Social Connections 10 is taking place in Toronto, Canada this year, June 6-7. Keynote speakers are Luis Suarez and Alan Lepofsky. As the name indicates, this conference focuses on IBM Connections. Early bird registration ends on April 1, and the cost is CA$229.00 while the regular price is $CA269.00.
Then there is MWLUG, this year taking place in Austin on August 17-19. Richard Moy and his team did a great job in Atlanta in 2015, and I am looking forward to this years conference. This is an “almost free” conference, the fee is $75 but don’t be fooled to think it is a cheap conference. Don’t miss out on some excellent content!
So go to some user conferences, be social and learn amazing new things!