As CTO of Layer 7 Technologies, I attend a lot of conferences. There was a time when this was all exciting and new, but I find now I’m rarely surprised by anything on the show floor. By mid-spring, I’ve collected samples of all the swag that’s new for the season, and digested all of the latest product offerings. My kids have enough flashing balls and foam thumb rockets to open a daycare.
Xirrus, a maker of high performance wifi equipment, broke the cycle of conference ennui spectacularly this year at Interop Las Vegas. They hosted boxing matches in a ring set up in the middle of the show floor. Vegas may be the home of glitz, gambling, and excess, but it’s also an important center for boxing, and the city is full of fighters. Xirrus pulled in two clubs and squared off their fighters in 3 round matches, hosting several fights a day for the duration of the show.
The fights were so engaging that I found myself setting the alarm on my phone so I could drift back in time for the next bout. Years ago I was a member of the boxing club at the University of British Columbia, and these sessions really reminded me how much I loved the sport.
Xirrus hosted a great event. It really demonstrated how doing something just a little out of the ordinary can make your company stand out. This was definitely the highlight of Interop for me—and I’ll admit that it was even better than my own session at the Enterprise Cloud Summit!