Top 10 Things I Liked About ISC 16

My expected and not-to-be-missed Top 10 for ISC High Performance – better late than never. I hope this look back reminds you of your ISC experience and puts a smile on your face!

1: The Energy

From the moment I walked onto the show floor, I could feel the energy, the excitement – ISC16 was here! The booths were filled with enthusiastic people ready to share all of their new technologies with the inquisitive attendees making their way through the aisles.

2: Networking
It’s such an important part of any event, and the opportunities to network at ISC did not disappoint! The melting pot of scientists, engineers, sales and marketing professionals, and media made it easy to enjoy engaging conversations across a wide range of topics. Great conversation + business card swap + firm handshake + a smile = networking success

3: The Xand McMahon Booth
This event was especially important to me because it was the official launch of my partnership with Lara Kisielewska to combine her HPC marketing firm and the HPC division of my marketing firm into Xand McMahon. And what better way to announce our partnership than with a booth at ISC! Our first booth! Our first press release! Our team! Many visitors! All those things Lara and I have been telling our clients about the importance of exhibiting at a show – well, the same strategies worked for us too! Check out our pre- and post-show press:
Pre-Show things I’m looking forward to
Press Release
Pre-show blog
HPCwire Career Notes

4: New Technologies
Product announcements as well as researchers and vendors showing off their new technologies – that’s the most interesting part! The Top500 announcement, Intel’s KNL, CoolIT’s new liquid cooling product, DDN’s new storage, Qarnot Computing’s cloud product, Penguin’s Frostbyte, NAG and Cavium partnership, PRACE activities, SGI, and EPCC new announcement, to name a few. There are many more – go to your favorite industry publication and check out the recent press releases for your full list of ISC announcements.

5: Student Cluster Competition
This is the future of our industry! Forming the team, building the cluster, running the tests – always exciting. Their motto sums it all up: “Serious hardware. Real science. Student supercomputing lives here.” Congratulations to Team South Africa on the win (their third)!
Student Cluster Competition
Student Cluster Competition at ISC16
Student Cluster Competition Winner
Student Cluster Competition Award Video

6: Vendor Showdown and the IDC Breakfast
These two events are always on my list of things to do while at ISC and SC. IDC provides their snapshot view of the market and this year had a two presentations, an HPC overview and one focused on industry. Vendor Showdown on Monday gives vendors time to present, but it’s the questions from the moderators that are the most fun to watch!

7: Women in HPC Events
The first WHPC luncheon was a combination of networking and a thank-you to the industry. Held at the Marriott, over 50 people came to visit, network, and get to know what Women in HPC is all about. Watch for their next networking event at SC16. Other WHPC activities at ISC 16 were the BoF, a workshop, presentations, and interviews. A lot of talk on diversity, what it really means, and how it betters the industry. Stay tuned, the conversation continues at SC16.

8: The Marriott Frankfurt Hotel
Marriott hotels are kinda my thing, and with the Frankfurt Marriott so close to the convention center, it became a thing for many ISC goers as well. More networking opportunities and in a nice hotel to boot. If you didn’t know, Champions at the Marriott was THE bar to be at late night. Right, Rich? 😉

9: Social Media
There was quite a bit of buzz in and around ISC 16. A lot of real time posts, some attention-grabbing, some just simply informative – either way, they all got people talking. Oh, and for the first time I offered free social media consulting to attendees at the conference. It was fun to look at their LinkedIn and Twitter profiles and provide advice on how they could improve their social media presence.
ISC Business Networking

10: The Opportunity
At the end of the day, I am just so grateful that I have the opportunity to travel to events such as ISC, network with such a diverse group, and help some of them with their marketing strategies along the way. I truly feel as if I am living the dream.


About the author: Kim McMahon 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.