Are You Ready for ISC 2016? Top 9 Things to Look Forward To

By Kim McMahon

April 14, 2016

ISC High Performance is right around the corner – it’s just nine weeks before the conference starts! I am in active planning mode, and if you aren’t, you should be too. As an attendee or an exhibitor, there is a lot the ISC 2016 conference has to offer.

The first ISC conference was in 1986 with 81 attendees, mainly German-speaking vendors and end-users, and no exhibitors. By 2015, it has grown to 156 exhibitors and close to 3,000 international attendees. We’ve been going to Hamburg, Leipzig, and Frankfurt for this annual event for high performance computing, networking, and storage. Through the years, the conference has continued to stay on the cutting edge of technology by focusing on HPC and its applications in scientific and commercial environments.

So, without further ado, this is what I am looking forward to:

1. The Program

ISC’s program content is designed to speak to their demographics in academic and commercial sectors, while also focusing on current and trending topics. The team at ISC works hard to acknowledge the industry’s evolution, expanding beyond safe, more traditional topics. Looking at the program, this year I’m looking forward to the presentations on deep learning, robotics, Internet of Things, and machine learning.

2. Variety of Options

Regardless of what you are looking for from the conference, there are many options! Tutorials, BoFs, Workshops, Conference Sessions, Research and Poster Sessions, and more. Want hands-on learning in an interactive setting? Hit up one of the tutorials. The Research Papers provide in-depth knowledge on a specific topic. The Workshops dig even deeper during their half-day or full-day sessions.

3. Invited Talks and HPC in Asia

Three keynotes and four distinguished talks! In total, 88 invited talks! Add to this HPC in Asia has its own poster session and makes ISC the only HPC conference outside Asia that offers Asian researchers the opportunity to meet and talk about the systems and applications in development within their own region.

4. More on Keynotes!

Make sure you put the conference keynote by Baidu’s chief scientist Andrew Ng on “How HPC is Supercharging Machine Learning” on your calendar. Who doesn’t want to hear about that?!

5. Exhibits

Yes, I like the exhibits. I’m one of those who actually likes participating in the exhibition hall. And those of you who complain about it – come on – be honest. Yes, our feet hurt by the end of the show, but the exhibits are where we are seeing real science and technology! ISC is the largest HPC exhibition outside of North America and all the top vendors with an interest in the European market are at ISC. This year, expect about 160 exhibits (I’m thinking there may not be enough time in my day…).

6. Looking for the Decision Makers?

If you’re looking for the people who can make decisions on deals, you will find them at ISC. ISC continues to attract over 40 percent of decision-makers and those who directly and indirectly decide on investing in systems and software. ISC tells me the decision-makers attend because the topics are relevant and the discussions are very high level, even in the vendor-focused sessions such as Vendor Showdown.

7. ISC or SC?

There really shouldn’t be a choice; if you are doing business internationally, you need to be at both conferences. Also, there is a large North American presence at ISC, so it’s another opportunity to gain awareness with that audience. The conferences are 5-6 months apart, so for many of my clients we talk about a marketing and promotion plan that builds on these two major milestone events.

8. Networking

Well, this is one of the main reasons I go – to network with old friends and meet new friends. There are many opportunities for networking during the sessions, coffee breaks, and lunch breaks. We catch up, talk about technology, what’s going on in the industry. Oh, and we talk about kids and dogs too.

9. Germany and Europe. In the Summer. Enough Said.

Actually, not enough said. I like Frankfurt because it’s easy to get to via plane or train and the food…yum! Being an international city, Frankfurt has much to offer and a trip to Heidelberg to see the castle and some of the best Riesling-making winery tours are close by! Want to explore a little further than Frankfurt? Try Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, or Munich (my favorite – I love the sausages and Spätzle!). It’s easy to take a few days and tack your vacation onto your travel to the conference.

As you prepare for your trip to ISC, what are you looking forward to?

See you all in Germany!

Kim-McMahon-cropped-500About the Author

Kim McMahon of McMahon Consulting has performed sales and marketing for more years than she cares to count. She writes frequently on marketing, life, the world and how they sometimes all come together. She will be at ISC supporting Women in HPC and also providing social media advice to conference participants — stay tuned in to her blog and #JustStartToday). Contact Kim at [email protected] for more information, or just to brainstorm! 

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