Sessions and Activities

Connect 2017 will offer a wide variety of session types for you to experience. Most session types will range between 20 – 45 minutes, featuring a presentation followed by a short question-and-answer segment. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect from each:

Opening General Session

In the Connect Opening General Session, learn how a cognitive workplace can unleash your potential. The winners will be those who apply the right capabilities to their digital collaboration, content and workflows. Discover how you can augment human potential with a workplace that understands your work patterns and preferences – and adjusts accordingly. The result will help you make better choices about what and who is important, and what’s next.

Hear from Inhi Cho Suh, General Manager, IBM Collaboration Solutions, as she explains how Watson will transform everyday work. Top IBM clients will talk about how they are turning that vision into reality. See the future unfold with the latest announcements, demos and innovations. Plus, TEDTalk star Sheena Iyengar will share fascinating new research on how businesses (and others) can improve the experience of choosing.


Inhi Cho Suh, GM, IBM Collaborations

Christopher Crummey, Executive Director of Evangelism, IBM Watson Work Collaboration Solutions

Ed Brill, VP, Offering Management and Design, IBM Analytics

Rishi Vaish, VP. IBM Watson Workspace and IBM Watson Work Services

Sheena Iyengar, S.T. Lee Professor of Business and Author of The Art of Choosing

Technical Keynote

Get ready for an exciting tour of the latest and greatest IBM Collaboration innovations. The Connect Technical Keynote will take you inside the new cognitive capabilities in Watson Workspace, Verse and Connections. You’ll also see groundbreaking extensibility improvements, learn how you can modernize your Domino apps, and get a peek into the future courtesy of IBM Labs. Along the way, there will also be new partnership, ecosystem, roadmap and product announcements to make sure you are completely up to speed.


Christopher Crummey, Executive Director of Evangelism - IBM Watson Work Collaboration Solutions

Ed Brill, VP - Offering Management and Design, IBM Analytics

Rishi Vaish, VP IBM Watson Workspace and IBM Watson Work Services

Closing General Session

End the week on a truly entertaining and inspiring note. Inhi Cho will share her perspective and summarize the big impacts that the cognitive workplace movement will have on all of us. Guest speaker Eric Whitacre, classical composer, YouTube rockstar and noted TEDTalk speaker will then take the stage. Eric is a passionate advocate for deep collaboration and connection. His grand finale, a fusion of audience participation, technology and music, will inspire you to think differently about your own work and life.

Hands-on Labs

Scheduled technical hands-on instructor-led sessions. Enrollment in the IBM Events Mobile App is required. Once full, attendees are placed on stand-by. IBM Employees are automatically placed on stand-by. Look for session schedule details in the IBM Session Expert and enroll.

Meet the Developers

Engage with the people who wrote the code in the Meet the Developers area. Get answers to those questions you have always wanted to ask, provide feedback on your experiences and make suggestions for new features. This informal setting lends itself to friendly, relaxed discussions with the engineers who are responsible for designing, coding and validating IBM Collaboration Solutions offerings.

IBM Design Studio

Stop by the IBM Design Studio to engage with IBM designers, play fun research games, and try interactive design activities. Get a first-hand look at the latest products & prototypes, and share your stories, challenges, or recommendations. Help envision the future of work with cognitive collaboration and IBM Watson!

IBM Research Innovation Lab

The IBM Research Innovation Lab showcases research that paves the way for the future of how we work and communicate. Get an early look at new solutions that could address your critical business challenges. See how we are applying daily breakthroughs in cognitive computing, social analytics, visualization, and robotics to those challenges. Visit our lab and exchange ideas with us.

IBM Professional Certification

By attending IBM Connect 2017 you will receive a voucher for IBM Collaboration Solutions and Social Business Certification testing that may be redeemed for a test at a Pearson VUE test center worldwide (vouchers must be redeemed by August 31, 2017). Additional details will be provided in an update to the IBM Events mobile app closer to the conference and onsite.

For more information about the IBM Professional Certification Program visit:

For test center locations and to schedule a test appointment visit:

Hands-on Labs and interactive forums with subject matter experts will be available at IBM Connect this year. Note that, except for Hands-on Labs, the interaction is on a “drop in”basis during scheduled times. Additional details, including times and locations, will be released in an update to the IBM Events mobile app closer to the conference.

Special Event

Join us Wednesday night at the Exploratorium, the “jewel” of the Embarcadero. Engage with hundreds of interactive exhibits in this hands-on museum of science, art and human perception. Network with colleagues at an exclusive evening for Connect attendees.

Connect 2017 Hackathon

The Connect 2017 Hackathon is your opportunity to put your coding, design, testing and documentation skills to good use in a team environment to work on an exciting project over the course of one day.

Watson Work Escape Room

What happens when you mix a working desk, Watson, and an envelope full of clues? Welcome to the Watson Work Escape Room. Learn how Watson can change the way you work by solving a series of clues to escape the room in less than 10 minutes.

Cognitive Brew

Attendees work with Watson to find their new favorite craft beers – and a look at how tastes align across the event.

Engagement Theater Sessions

These presentations are held within theaters located around the Expo area. These talks are concise and highly focused around a specific topic and can be either a formal presentation (1-2 speakers using slides) OR a less formal and more interactive sharing of ideas and discussion between the host and audience.

Breakout Sessions

A 45 minute breakout session offers a detailed exploration of a single topic in a traditional classroom atmosphere with up to two presenters, allowing for a 35-minute presentation plus 10 minutes of Q&A.

Panel Sessions

Moderated by IBM executives or Subject Matter Experts, panels allow thought leaders and/or technical experts to engage in roundtable discussions on today’s most intriguing technological advances. While some audience participation may be encouraged, the format tends to remain structured.

Featured Sessions

These sessions are led by Subject Matter Experts and focus on providing greater insight into IBM solutions and products. Unique to the Connect conference, sessions such as “Gurupalooza”, and “ASK the Technical Team” provide opportunities to meet and speak directly with experts from the IBM Collaboration Solutions team or our Business Partners.

February 20 – 23
Moscone West
San Francisco, CA