Gartner, I hardly knew you.

Your hero recently attended the 2010 Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit in National Harbor, MD (right near good ol’ DC). This is a two and a half day event starting Tuesday evening for a few hours with a 2 hour session Wednesday and a 1.5 hour session Thursday. I opted to skip the meet and greet geek out on Tuesday and went straight for the goods on Wednesday. I can sum up my expectations for the event with the following word, “stoked”. Unfortunately I can also sum up my realization of the event post arrival with the following word, “disappointed”.

Two things were missing from the summit. The first were the vendors. There were a number of vendors on display with @70% using the flavor of the month tag line, Cloud. Apparently the Cloud will deliver everything you have ever wished for from a Security and Risk point of view while curing your arthritis and cooking you a nice Chicken Pot Pie. I am pretty sure McDonald’s is well on it’s way to changing their tag line to “I’m loving Cloud”. But I digress. The number of vendors was surprisingly poor with not a lot in the way of big name players. Sure Google and Oracle were there but where were the monster booths packed with the goodies and rent-a-babe hostesses? Apparently, from an insider I spoke with, the big name companies have cut back dramatically on their marketing dollars for these events and quite frankly it showed. Also the overall bevy of companies has declined. The event was heavy on niche and really only gave me an opportunity to say hello to friends and competitors alike. By my estimate maybe 40% of the available space was used for the show.

The second missing piece of the puzzle was the attendees. We were comped for this event and now I know why. There were very few attendees. I couldn’t believe the emptiness at booths. It was like Disney in the first week of January. No lines, no waiting. While it was easy to see and speak with just about anyone I cared to about product, services and the almighty Cloud, it left me wondering what is really being gained. For certain the event produced very few sustainable leads.

So in conclusion I don’t see an IDMWorks booth at the next Garter event in the future but keep a look out for your hero behind the counter at Mickey D’s asking if you want fries with that order.