March 2013

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The "Community" Comes Together

to Produce Its Own Event
John Petze

John Petze, Principal,

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Conferences and trade shows fill an important need for any industry. They provide a place for practitioners and vendors to come together to learn, network, test market acceptance of new ideas and products, and move the industry forward.

Historically these events have always been organized and managed by an industry association or a specific manufacturer. Today that is changing. With the impact that connected communities are having in the market we are now witnessing the advent of the first event produced by the community for the community. That event is Haystack Connect.

The Audience: Haystack Connect is targeted at systems integrators, technology vendors and early adopter customers that are advancing the state of the art in intelligent buildings and energy management.

How It Came About: Haystack Connect started from discussions between numerous SI's and vendors over the course of 2012 who felt that there was a need for a different type of event focused specifically on the people implementing systems and driving new solutions for facility owners.

The emergence of Haystack Connect as a community-produced event demonstrates a natural progression - with open technologies it becomes the community that drives the industry forward in ways that no single manufacturer or organization can.

The Focus: Haystack Connect has no single technology or vendor focus. The event brings together people that specialize in BACnet, LON, Niagara, oBix, Modbus and many other standards and technologies. Its where it all technologies, companies are presented and evaluated on their merits.

Perhaps a bit of clarification will be helpful on this point: A number of the people involved in envisioning this new event had also participated in the creating of an open source movement called project-haystack in early 2011. This effort brought together a diverse set of people who wanted to attack the challenge of organizing smart device data so it can be more easily used by enterprise software applications. The concept of helping "find" valuable information in device data lead to the name "haystack".

When it was time to again launch a community driven, "open source" style event, we thought that the haystack name again made sense to represent people coming together to “find” solutions from all of the new technology in the market. BUT it's important to point out that the Haystack Connect event is not focused on project-haystack work. In fact, that’s just a single technical session at the event. So don't think you need to be part of that effort to benefit from attending!

Who's Making It Happen: The sponsors and exhibitors who are investing their resources and volunteer efforts to create the event are:
- Platinum Sponsors: Daintree Networks, EasyIO, J2 Innovations, Lynxspring, SkyFoundry, and Smartcom/Infergence

- Gold Sponsors: ActiveLogix, AIC Wireless, BAS Services and Graphics, Can2Go, , and NOVO Integration

- Exhibitors: Eagle Technology, Wattstopper, Veris, Enerliance

[an error occurred while processing this directive] - Media Sponsors: Automated Buildings,, Buildings Magazine, Control Trends, Engineered Systems, Mission Critical

When and Where and How Much:
We have intentionally kept attendee costs very low -- the goal of the event is to break even. At $495 (the early bird rate through Feb 28th), which includes meals for 3 1/2 days, it’s a tremendous value.

Venue: The event will be held April 29 – May 2 at the Chattanoogan Hotel, Chattanooga, TN. The Haystack Connect event will take the entire hotel and conference center.

The Future: The future of Haystack Connect is really up to the community. It’s their combined effort that will make it a success and perhaps result in it becoming a yearly or bi-yearly event.

We hope you will join us there to help create this new future.

Get full details at:


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