I have always said that each of the industry’s trade shows has its own strengths and weaknesses, plusses and minuses, at least as compared to each other. I write often about the industry events that I attend. These include large events--7x24Exchange,DatacenterDynamics, theUptime Institute Symposium, andData Center World-and some of the smaller events. They all have value.Mission Criticalalso sponsors many other worthwhile events, and we have close organizational ties with many of these groups. For that reason, I’m happy to volunteer my time when needed to help present a topic, moderate a panel, or even organize an activity.

Volunteerism is what makes so many of these events special. Most panelists and speakers volunteer their time trying to present their insights to others in an effort to improve best practice and to improve the world by reducing the wasteful use of energy. Sure, some have the support of large companies, but consider that these folks do not need to add another commitment to their otherwise busy lives. I also have to admit that volunteering to help industry is rewarding and enjoyable.

Organizers of these events also deserve recognition. Ever wonder how they consistently find new and interesting speakers? Well, they stay on top of the industry so that they know what’s happening and then work hard to attract 

DatacenterDynamics New York earlier this month was one terrific example of how a group can keep an event fresh by expanding the speaker pool. They’ll soon be hosting events in Phoenix and Seattle that also look promising.

I’m looking forward to Data Center World in Las Vegas next week, and not just to get away from the New York winter. I’m hoping to see you there as well. The program looks very strong. Data Center World succeeds, I believe, because it is so unabashedly commercial. Not only does the event include a strong exhibitor area, it is alone in offering product information sessions during which manufacturers are free to tout the features of their products. It’s a great way to get a close up look at the newest and shiniest. And there’s no bait and switch involved; the sessions are clearly labeled so that you can avoid the commercial pitch, if you want.

Soon after, the Uptime Institute will hold its annual Symposium, where I’ll be moderating a panel of end users who have been recognized in previous years for projects that changed how we view data center design, construction, or operation. It’s a good chance to see how these projects fare with time.

And then, the 7x24Exchange will be gathering in Florida in June….and then….