Inbox Conference, June 1-2, San Jose

This was a conference for messaging vendors and IT staff involved in messaging. Vendors had various sponsorship opportunities, and could have a table-based booth.

General Observations

  • Small, intimate conference. We enjoyed it and found it worthwhile
  • Good place to network with people in the industry, exchange ideas
  • Felt like a comfortable, better format than prior years–everyone’s expectations were set appropriately
  • IT messaging professionals have limited travel budgets–hence they came in limited numbers. Those that came were from large organizations.

Participants

  • The organizers said there were a total of 400 attendees. This translates to 400 people who stopped by at some point
  • The full-conference attendance was about 250 people participating
  • About 125 people paid about $1,000 in order to register as ordinary paying participants
  • There were about 90 buyers here; 50 of them being messaging IT staff, 40 of them from service providers of some sort
  • Many of the service providers were email direct marketing firms. Interesting, because the event was supposed to be focused on IT
  • The rest of the attendees were vendor staff, with a few waifs and strays from the analyst world, press, venture capitalists, and other factions

Sessions

  • There were a variety of sessions. As usual, you took your chance on the quality
  • There were often quite large time gaps between the sessions, which was useful for checking email, talking to people, and so on
  • Keynotes had between 80 and 225 attendees
  • Audiences weren’t large–generally  15 to 35 people, of which 5 to ten might be colleagues of the speakers

Booths & Sponsorships

  • Varying levels of sponsorship and visibility available
  • There were no booths. Vendors could have tables instead
  • Tables were maintained by: Anti-Phishing Working Group, AppRiver, Cemaphore, CipherTrust, Deerfield, Email Service Provider Coalition, Ferris Research, Habeas, IronPort, MailFrontier, NameProtect, OmniTI, Teneros, TRUSTe, VeriTest. The standard table cost was $3,000.
  • Vendors who took a booth/table to sell product, and who sent several staff, were likely to be disappointed. There were too few end users at the event to justify the time and cost investment
  • Vendors who had a broader mix of goals, eg selling plus briefing press and analysts plus meeting with business partners plus general networking plus making calls in Silicon Valley, had a good chance of finding the event worthwhile.

David Ferris and Richi Jennings

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