Creating your Think Agenda: Samples Included

Dean Compher

16 February 16, 2018



Whether you are into Cloud Databases, DB2, Big Data, lectures or labs, it is now time to start building your agenda for the 2018 Think Conference.  This new conference combines the former Insight/World of Watson and the other major conferences into one event.  There are tons of great sessions and networking (fun) evening activities at the conference and by planning ahead you can squeeze the most value out of the conference.  If you like lab sessions then sign up early or you risk them filling with other people.  In this article I’ll share a few tips on building your agenda and even some sample agendas for various interests to help you get started.  If you’re not that familiar with the conference this may help your planning, but you should review all the choices on the conference web site.  Please browse the sessions on the agenda and pick the ones of most interest to you.  In this article I also provide information on using the agenda building capability of the site. If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, make sure to select IBM Rep and type “Dean Compher” in the box where it asks you how you found out about this conference when you do register. 


There are several technical sessions again this year and you can review all of the sessions before you register.  As you review sessions you can save the ones that are of particular interest just by clicking them.  You will be prompted for your IBM ID to start building your provisional agenda this way, but you do not need to register for the conference.  You will not be able to save labs until you register though.  For the sessions your agenda will be available for future visits to the site.  The next time you visit the sessions site you can find your agenda again by signing in again.  If you don’t already have one you can create an IBM ID on the sign in page.  You can even e-mail your agenda simply by clicking the e-mail button on the agenda when you visit it. 


You can see the sessions by visiting the Session Expert page.  From this page you can just start browsing all of the sessions, but you will likely want to do searches from the search bar or use the various filters on the left.  I found the Filter by Topic | Data and Analytics filter the most useful.  If you like any of my agendas below, then you can search for the session numbers listed.  As you browse the sessions you can click on them to read the abstracts and click the “+” next to the session to add it to your agenda.  If you haven’t already logged in with your IBM Id, you will be prompted to do so when you try to add a session. Also from the Session Expert page you can click the “My Agenda” link to view your sessions and email it at any time.  On this page you can also get help from Watson to build your agenda.  Just click the “Ask Watson” and then ask it questions. 


If you have not already done so, you will need to register for the conference to add labs to your agenda and to attend.  After you register you can continue building the agenda you started before registering or create a new one. 


Agenda Builder Tips 


There are so many tracks that I couldn’t come up with just one agenda, so I have added a few sample agendas that you can use as a template for creating your own schedule.  Each time slot actually has many more sessions; these are just some of our favorites.  Make sure to examine other available sessions using the agenda builder.  One of the agendas below contains the networking and keynote sessions.  Don’t forget to put those on your schedule.  This year Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO, will speaking at the main Keynote.


General DB2 DBA Lectures Agenda

If you want to get a lot of information about several topics, then attend as many sessions as you can.  This agenda shows the ones that db2Dean recommends for DB2 with some introductory cloud and hybrid database sessions as well since that is such a hot topic.  Some time slots show multiple sessions because I like them all, but you will need to cross off the ones you would not take. 


General DB2 DBA Labs Agenda

If you like to get more in depth on fewer topics then Labs are the way to go.  This agenda in this link is almost exclusively lab sessions, but you can mix and match labs and lectures.  Labs fill fast, so sign up for them as soon as you register.


Big Data and Data Lakes

Big Data is more than just Hadoop and this agenda reflects that.  It not only includes purely Hadoop sessions, but also discussions of how to use all your data sources together as one big analytics platform.  Sessions also talk about cloud, on-premises and hybrid platforms, plus Spark and more. 


Receptions, Keynotes and Others

Don’t forget about the other interesting things you can do at the conference.  There are several after-hours receptions many of which require an invitation.  I’ve added the ones open to the general public to this agenda.  The main fun event is at the conference is Wednesday evening where Train and Chain Smokers will be playing.  Make sure to merge these sessions into your technical agenda.  There are also several events that are not widely announced, but you can ask your sales rep if you would like to be invited to them.  Also don’t forget to stop by the expo if you are interested in chatting about particular technologies or just want to get some cool toys for you or your kids.  Breakfast and Lunch are included in your conference registration and are normally held next to the Expo.  


Special interest Sessions

There are a number of sessions that I did not include on the above agendas because of their specialized nature.  However, if that specialty appeals to you then you may want to attend them instead of some of the sessions on the above agendas.


Meet to the Experts

Go to the “Meet the Experts” sessions to talk in small groups about how to do something that interests you.  There is no other forum where it is this easy to corner someone from the lab.  All that you have to do is to go to these sessions and bring up your topic.  To sign up for these sessions just visit the Session Expert page and choose “Filter by Session Type” and check the “Meet the Experts” box.




There’s a lot more to the Agenda Builder than what I’ve listed in this article.  I encourage you to explore that site and use all of those features, but if you run out of time, then using one of these agendas is better than showing up with nothing and wondering aimlessly!  Also don’t forget to make sure to select IBM Rep and type “Dean Compher” in the box where it asks you how you found out about this conference when you register for the conference!


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