8 Memorable Sights From The Next Generation Cloud Conference

Sights And Sounds

The Channel Company held its NexGen Cloud conference in San Diego in early December, and the vendors in the expo hall really brought their A-game, with lots of creative signage and stunts. Walking the show floor, it was once again obvious that cloud is a massive and generational IT industry shift that literally is transforming the industry landscape.

With all kinds of great vendors hawking cool, innovative products and services, you'd think it would be tough for anyone to stand out. But some vendors did come up with ways of captivating the attention of conference attendees, and the expo hall itself was full of interesting surprises. Following are eight examples.

Oxygen Break

Asigra, a cloud backup and recovery vendor, let attendees catch their breath at an oxygen bar on the show floor. Even better, the pure O2 was infused with a range of pleasant aromas, including peppermint, vanilla, lavender and others. It was almost impossible to walk by and not give it a try.

Hitting The Beach

Intel Security, the company previously known as McAfee, was on hand to talk about its tools and services for managed service providers. Since the conference was in San Diego, the company thought it best to go with a beach motif. Surf's up!

Rock-Climbing Wall

San Diego is known for its outdoor activities -- basically, everyone living there is in good shape from running, hiking, surfing and all that good stuff. On the NexGen Cloud show floor, attendees could try their hand at this imposing rock-climbing wall. Several did give it a shot, and some made it to the top. Everyone came away wiser for the experience.

Giving It A Shot

Here's a guy showing how it's done, scaling the rock wall as a small crowd of conference attendees watches on the canyon floor far below.

Who Doesn't Love Jenga?

This was one of our favorite sights from the event: an oversized Jenga game, right there in the middle of the conference expo hall. Cloud computing is serious business, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't take a break from the action and show off their icy nerves of steel playing one of the world's most tension-filled (and fun) games.

Microsoft Branded Purell

Conferences are crowded, busy places, with lots of handshaking. So it's important for people to keep their hands clean and disinfected. Microsoft was on hand to provide this, and conference attendees were very grateful.

Server Challenge

IBM bought SoftLayer last year for $1.2 billion, and a big reason why it spent so much was that SoftLayer's cloud is built for performance and speed. At the conference, IBM made that point clear with this "Server Challenge" at its booth on the show floor. This might look like a 1980s arcade game, but it's actually an example of the horsepower that runs IBM's public cloud.

Cool T-Shirt

IBM also had one of the coolest T-shirt giveaways at the conference -- this one is for Bluemix, IBM's cloud Platform-as-a-Service for building all sorts of different apps.