All of the stuff we do here on the web at TechRepublic every day — knowledge-sharing, debating hot topics, arguing about the future of IT, community-building — is coming alive in the real world this week. The third annual TechRepublic Live 2011 event will take place on September 28-30 at the Hilton Garden Inn Northeast in Louisville, Kentucky, where TechRepublic was founded as a startup in 1999 and where the TechRepublic editorial department still has its headquarters today.

We don’t call this a conference. We don’t have an events department making plans to put on a fancy show. This is more of a high-impact meetup with TechRepublic editors, writers, and our most active users. We model the agenda after the daily activities that take place on the site itself. Basically, that means we split it up into two parts. In the mornings, we have presentations that are the equivalent of articles and in the afternoons we have unconference sessions that are the equivalent of user-driven discussions in the forums.

Our morning presentations may sound like traditional conference sessions, but they are much more interactive. We shoot for 30 minutes of presentation with 15 minutes of question and answer from the audience, just as our articles have the author’s take on the subject and then a discussion thread below. The unconference sessions are primarily made up of topics requested and voted on by the participants of the event. For these, we split up into smaller breakout sessions so that more people have the chance to speak up, participate, and choose the topics they’re most interested in.

Here is a look at the official agenda:

Tuesday, Sept. 27

6:00-9:00 PM EDT: Welcome Party in the lobby of the Hilton Garden Inn

Wednesday, Sept. 28

9:00-9:45AM EDT: “What the IT department will look like in 2015” (Jason Hiner)

10:00-10:45AM EDT: “Cybercrime update: Protecting your network, protecting yourself” (Deb Shinder)

11:00-11:45AM EDT: “Tech industry: The winners and losers of 2011” (Larry Dignan)

1:00-1:25PM EDT: Louisville Digital Association (Grace Simrall)

1:30-2:00PM EDT: Unconference breakout sessions

2:10-2:40PM EDT: Unconference breakout sessions

2:50-3:20PM EDT: Unconference breakout sessions

3:45-4:30PM EDT: Day 1 wrap-up and raffle

Thursday, Sept. 29

9:00-9:45AM EDT: “Why tablets are accelerating IT consumerization” (Bill Detwiler)

10:00-10:45AM EDT: “How Windows 8 enables IT pros to implement the private cloud” (Tom Shinder)

11:00-11:45AM EDT: “Panel: Managing your IT career in 2011” (Jason Hiner, moderator, Toni Bowers, Rick Vanover, Grace Simrall, Donovan Colbert)

1:30-2:00PM EDT: Unconference breakout sessions

2:10-2:40PM EDT: Unconference breakout sessions

2:50-3:20PM EDT: Unconference breakout sessions

3:45-4:30PM EDT: Day 2 wrap-up and raffle

6:00-9:00 PM EDT: Dinner buffet at the Fox & Hound

Friday, Sept. 30

9:00-9:25AM EDT: Lightning round #1: “The state of the Linux ecosystem” (Jack Wallen)

9:30-9:55AM EDT: Lightning round #2: “Automate the mundane so you can focus on the impactful” (Scott Lowe)

10:00-10:25AM EDT: Lightning round #3: “Why Apple devices are good for business” (Erik Eckel)

10:30-10:55PM EDT: Lightning round #4: “Cracking Open and TR Dojo: How we do it” (Bill Detwiler)

11:00-11:35PM EDT: Lightning round #5: “TR Live 2011: What we learned” (Jason Hiner)

11:30-12:00PM EDT: Event wrap-up and raffle


The morning sessions will be streamed from 9:00 AM to noon EDT on September 28, 29, and 30. You can view the sessions on TechRepublic’s Ustream channel.


For those of you who want to follow the events of TechRepublic Live 2011 from a grassroots perspective on social media, the tag/hashtag we’re going to use is TRLive2011. On Twitter, you can follow this at #TRLive2011.

You can still attend

TechRepublic Live 2011 is free to attend for all TechRepublic members (and membership is free). Attendance is limited on a first-come, first-served basis, but we still have some open slots. You can sign up here.