This is not surprising news, but still I'm sad to report this. The 2013 Defense Intelligence Worldwide Conference has been cancelled. This event had evolved from the famous (in my community anyway) DoDIIS Conference, an event that over my career grew from 50 people in a little room to 3000 global technology professionals all focused on enhancing systems making direct contributions to the security of the nation.
Note: If you are in a tech firm that was planning on hosting a demo at the Worldwide Conference see: Have you had conferences cancelled on you? We can help get the word out
For several years there were concerns over the cost of the conference. It was free to produce, but the cost was in terms of government time to attend. But for me those concerns were never really valid. The defense intelligence mission has thought leaders and collaborators and technologists serving the mission from all around the globe and it was incredibly productive to bring at least a slice of them together to collaborate and coordinate in person. It is also a great way to hold training and education events to get the word out. And there is nothing like a demo on the expo floor to make the potential of a disruptive technology become more apparent, which means these events are important to innovation.
The compelling need to collaborate in person means this event will be back, I'm sure. It is just a matter of time.
It is far less effective to try online gatherings, but we will need to do more of that to try to make up for this. The bad news is they will probably be online gatherings of small groups. More webinars from tech vendors, more internal government VTCs, and perhaps more virtual conferences. None of those are the same, but all have a place and we should make more use of them.
I also believe I should use this as a motivation to transform our CTOlabs site into something of more use to government technologists. With a bit of work and reformatting that site can be transformed into more of an online virtual technology expo. If you have ideas for me there please let me know.