***Read our updated review for 2016: The 3 Best Data Governance & MDM Conferences for 2016 ***
As the world of Information Governance, Master Data Management (MDM), Business Intelligence (BI), and Enterprise Information Management (EIM) grow, the trade show and conference schedule kicks into overdrive. In 2014, we had representation at over 25 data-focused events. From this experience, we’ve created our list of the North American events that have the very best speakers, top-notch networking, and also a bit of fun (hey - it doesn’t have to be all work and no play!). Here’s our list of the top MDM and Information Governance events to help you make the most out of your conference schedule in 2015.
- When and Where: May 5 – 7, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.
- Who Should Go: Anyone who uses or is thinking about using SAP tools. Caters to both Business and IT/Data.
- Format: Celebrity keynotes, expert-led sessions, plenty of customer stories plus a HUGE exhibit floor. Some may find it overwhelming, but don’t sell yourself short – make sure to save time to visit the campuses and strike up conversations with exhibitors. You won’t find a better opportunity to learn about the ecosystem and discover new ways to elevate your data discipline.
- Hidden Gem: SAPPHIRE is combined with the ASUG Annual Conference. Be sure to check out the ASUG Customer-led presentations and the Influence Council Session. This is your chance to help shape the direction of SAP products and services.
- The Catch: Like many larger conferences, SAPPHIRE can be pricey and fills up quickly. Be sure to register at early bird rates here and book your hotel early!
- DATUM’s Most Anticipated Sessions: Check back for our list when the official agenda is released.
- Fun Score: 8/10. SAPPHIRE NOW hosts a concert on the last night of the conference – last year it was Bon Jovi. It’s always a great time!
- Visit the event website for more details and register: SAPPHIRE NOW & ASUG Conference
- When and Where: June 15-16 in San Francisco, California. October 4-6 in New York City.
- Who Should Go: If your goal is to use your data as a corporate asset and a competitive advantage, this event is for you. It’s smaller and more densely focused on the business value of data.
- Format: Great sessions, small exhibit floor. The main focus is really on the presentations – the event staff will actually close down the show floor to drive everyone into sessions during most of the day. Refreshments and meals are served in the exhibitor area during breaks.
- Hidden Gem: The Swag! Since these are smaller shows, you increase your chances of winning ipads, Jawbone fitness bands, and plenty of other giveaways. Make sure to stop by all vendors in the exhibit hall to introduce yourself and enter to win. It’s not the only reason to attend – but walking away with a prize always feels good!
- The Catch: Don’t underestimate your costs to attend. NYC is especially expensive when it comes to food and lodging.
- DATUM’s Most Anticipated Sessions: Check back for the top sessions for each show when the full agenda is released.
- Fun Score: 6/10. No conference-hosted events outside of the networking breaks. However, New York’s buzz helps build a great energy and people generally end up hanging out together in the hotel lobby bar after the conference.
- Visit the event website for more details and to register: MDM & Data Governance Summit
- When and Where: ASUG Community Meetings are held all through the year. You can attend in two ways – through a regional ASUG Chapter or by Special Interest Group (SIG).
- Who Should Go: Anyone! If your company uses any type of SAP tool (or plans to) then you can attend. With all the different choices, your bound to find something that meets your needs.
- Format: Peer-to-Peer learning and networking. These aren’t overly ‘salesy’ events – they are led by and attended by people just like you who want to share experiences.
- Hidden Gem: The community. Stay the whole time and get involved and you’ll walk away with actionable takeaways and advice you’ll want to implement immediately. You’ll also make some friends that can personally relate to where you are in your data governance journey.
- The Catch: Make sure to register with ASUG to begin attending events.
- Fun Score: 7/10. As a 1 day only event there’s not much time for partying. However ASUG is a tight-knit community and people have fun catching up.
Winshuttle User Group Meet Up (WUG) – If you are a Winshuttle User, don’t miss their annual user group meet up. They throw one of the most smoothly run events with sessions that span outside of Winshuttle usage into broader areas like time management for data professionals. Also, it easily scores a 10/10 on the fun scale.
Gartner Enterprise Information & Master Data Management Summit – Another large scale event. The hidden gem is the opportunity to meet Gartner Analysts face-to-face and personally interact with them.
DUC – Of course we have to add our annual DATUM User Group meeting! It is conveniently scheduled right after the ASUG Data Governance SIG and offers an unparalleled opportunity to ‘pick the brains’ of best-in-class data leaders.
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