Today we have news to share about BrianMadden.com. We knew that last year’s BriForum would be last the one, and since then, we’ve had countless people ask what was next. Today we’re proud to announce BriForum’s successor, GeekOut 365.
GeekOut 365 is a new video portal that will make it easy to find the best independent, technical end user computing content—as well as navigate the library of previous BriForum sessions—for free, and without the time and travel constraints of a conference.
The evolution of BriForum and the tech conference industry
For 12 years, BriForum was the premier independent, technical conference in the desktop virtualization space. Back when we first created it, all we had were vendor-specific tradeshows that were largely marketing. As far as we were concerned, the real value to attending those shows were the conversations we had after the sessions were over. BriForum was special because we designed it as the event that we would want to attend.
Today, vendor events have made great progress. They bring in independent voices without censorship, and they let agendas follow what the audience wants, not what the marketing department stipulates. Other independent events have popped up, too. VMUG and CUGC events draw a huge number of attendees, and E2EVC does a great job of bringing independent content to locations all around the world.
At the same time, putting on events has gotten more challenging. Travel budgets have declined, it’s hard to take a week off work, and IT people are covering more different areas. (Is anyone out there doing LESS work than they were 12 years ago?!) Due in part to those market dynamics, TechTarget announced earlier this year that they were exiting the live event business.
Even though we’re not in the live event business anymore, that doesn’t mean that we’re done delivering the kind of content you’d expect to see at BriForum.
The last few years have seen the emergence of online events, and we’ve decided to try our hand with GeekOut 365. (No, it’s not a play on Office 365... it just accidently worked out that way.) We’re taking the same approach that we took with BriForum back in the day—we looked at the landscape and asked ourselves, “What kind of online event would we like to attend?”
The answer, as it turned out, was not a single event at all. Rather, we wanted to have something that featured continually updated content year-round (that’s the 365 part!). Face it, one of the worst parts about a conference is that you have to submit sessions so far in advance that sometimes you miss new developments. Running GeekOut 365 all year means that we’ll always have something about current trends.
GeekOut 365 will have the same focus on EUC topics, including desktop virtualization, enterprise mobility management, security, cloud applications, and more. We’ll have sessions from community-oriented experts from across the world.
All about GeekOut 365
GeekOut 365 is delivered as a modern online video experience (we modeled it after sites like Netflix and Hulu). Viewers can browse content by topic, speaker, and other attributes, and we’ll put together curated playlists, as well as automated playlists for the newest or most popular videos.
Best of all, GeekOut 365 is free! We charged for admission to BriForum because we had a lot of bills to cover (you have no idea how much event venues charge for coffee!), but now we have a lot fewer hard costs. We’re still going to have sponsors participate with a few sessions on the site, but as we did with BriForum, we’ll make sure they produce relevant, technical content that’s useful for attendees.
Another awesome benefit is that everybody can see the content right when it comes out. With BriForum, we would have to restrict video access to just paid attendees for several months after the show. and we got many requests each year from people that couldn’t attend BriForum in person but still wanted access to the content. Now all those worries are a thing of the past.
Same great content
GeekOut 365 will launch with a collection of brand-new videos, then additional videos, covering the latest industry developments, will follow through the rest of the year. Viewers will also be able to browse our back catalog of videos from previous BriForum conferences in a new, easier to access format.
Where do the new videos come from? You! We need your help to make this the best possible online, community-driven platform.
One of the challenges of BriForum was choosing sessions from our Call for Papers process. We’d routinely have to reject amazing sessions because we didn’t have enough space on the agenda or room in the travel budget. With GeekOut 365, we have no such restrictions, and other aspects will be more flexible, too. Got an idea for a session that can only sustain 30 minutes? We can accept that now! Have you had ideas turned down because they were too niche to put into the show, even though we thought they were good ideas? We can accept those, too!
Here’s our appeal to you: in order to make this platform as awesome as we envision, we need the community’s help. Our readers are among the most well-informed EUC specialists around, and we want to help share their knowledge with the world.
More coming soon
GeekOut 365 will be coming Summer 2017. Stay tuned for more information, including details on our new submission process. If you have questions in the meantime, leave a comment here or shoot an email to either of us. (Jack: firstname.lastname@example.org | Gabe: email@example.com) Though we’ll miss BriForum, we think we’re onto something with GeekOut 365, and we’re super excited to get started.
As an extra bonus, here's an early mockup of the environment. Since it's just a mockup, it has some placeholder text and images, and it's subject to change, but we like it so far and wanted to show it off!