SpiceWorld 2019 expectation vs. reality

I lucked out again this year and got the chance to head down to Austin, TX for SpiceWorld 2019 – and as expected, it did not disappoint! SpiceWorld is Spiceworks’ annual North America conference (they also hold one in London) for IT pros. The IT event is three days jam-packed with learning, parties, and, of course, swag.

I thought I’d take a moment to share my thoughts on the show this year and how reality compared to the expectations I had in the blog I wrote pre-departure. And let’s be honest, it gives me a great excuse to share this fun video we made to recap our SpiceWorld 2019 experience.

Expectation: Meeting IT professionals from around the world
Reality: Yes, I met SO many IT pros!

Our team was at booth 32 on the vendor floor and we had tons of visitors who were from all over the country. It was interesting for the team to get to hear what solutions attendees were using and the challenges they faced, regardless of where they were from. A common issue we heard from attendees is that they were struggling with driver management, navigating Win10, and migrating from older versions of Windows. It was insightful and invaluable for everyone on my team to get this face-time. If you came by our booth, seeing you was the highlight of my SpiceWorldATX experience.

Expectation: The. Best. Swag.
Reality: Really, The. Best. Swag.

The SpiceWorld vendors brought their A-game this year! Our team loved seeing all the creative swag, props, and table designs others brought to the convention. Pro tip, when going to SpiceWorld, pack a big bag because you will be loaded with fun souvenirs to bring home!

Some of our favorites:

– Eaton: Game of Thrones throne – made from actual tech equipment!
– HP: IT Monster – the cutest and fluffiest mascot roaming the conference.
– Arc Serve: Tame the IT Dragon – brought some awesome dragon and knight cut outs for photos.
– T-Mobile: EVERYTHING pink – RV, drone flying, arcade games and more. You name it, it was there and it was definitely pink.
– Electric: Caricature artists – pick an artist (or the shortest line) and your caricature would be drawn from scratch.

Expectation: Valuable tech sessions
Reality: Valuable tech sessions but a bit of mystery

We knew SpiceWorld was going to be beneficial for attendees. I had questions about how much would be covered regarding their recent acquisition by Ziff Davis. The leadership touched on it a few times and tried to answer common questions, but I think that enough details were still up in the air that they couldn’t say too much. All-in-all, the tech sessions I attended were good but the vendor sessions were cut way back compared to previous years which I found disappointing.

Expectation: REX!
I missed him!

Sad to say I missed my photo opp with Rex this year. I saw Rex from across the tradeshow floor but never got a chance to give him a hug and snap a pic. I’ll make up for it next year, SpiceRex!

Expectation: The epic SpiceWorld party
Reality: Something fun for everyone

Spiceworld knows how to throw a party! The big bash was Tuesday night at the Moody Theatre in the heart of Austin where everyone could mingle after a long day at the show. There were open bars, a live band, Virtual Reality stations, photo booths, and of course tech everywhere. To top off the “tech-sys” theme, they even rolled in a mechanical bull!

Until next time, SpiceWorld!