There are some more good comments on KM Australia from Serena Joyner on the NSW KM Forum blog.
Serena raises the perennial question of how to cope with vendor presentations at such major events. KM is about people, but I think that most of us agree that many (although certainly not all) KM initiatives require some technology to support them. Events like this need funding from vendors to make them possible (or they will come with much higher fees). The vendors need to see some return on this investment, so they need a speaking spot.
The result is two entirely different types of presentation. One from the viewpoint of people (and these may be either actual case studies or may be more about possibilities and research) and the other from the viewpoint of IT systems.
Ark did concentrate on having the vendors present much more from a Case Study point of view this year, which did help. But one vendor case study presentation that stuck in my mind still tended to focus much more on the actual system implementation and rollout than on the business situation that the technology solution was intended to address.
I worked in IT for five years – I am used to the mind set of IT vendors. But surely it would be a better pitch to have presented this same case in a different way? Hearing about the implementation does not make me more likely to buy the boxes and software. If I heard more about the human and business sides of the same story, and liked what I heard, then I may be even more interested in buying the solution. (Which of course assumes that I have a budget to buy it…)