As I settled into the scene tonight at the LIVE 2005 kick-off, I sensed that this year's event was different than the past. Not as intimate as FreeMarkets' WorldSource. Yet not as large and impersonal as the majority of vendor events. Indeed, LIVE 2005 is something different. I estimate that there will be somewhere around 1200 or 1300 attendees when everything goes into full swing tomorrow. But something about it feels smaller -- in a good way.
I had a chance to speak to a number of attendees tonight and while many are excited about the main stage speakers, even more are looking forward to the breakout sessions which promise enough content and detail to keep even the most informed practitioners honest. I also spoke to a number of industry analysts tonight, many of whom are participating in the events in the coming days.
In short, LIVE 2005 is already shaping up to be one of the top Spend Management events of the year. And after looking at the final agenda, I'm glad that the event will highlight practical content and user experiences. Too many vendor conferences are billboards for their sponsors. The good news is that LIVE looks to be shaping up to be more than this. But obviously, the proof will be in the content over the next few days.
Stay tuned tomorrow as we bring highlights to you throughout the day.