From the Editor's Desk: I'm missing BlackBerry Live right now...

Missing BlackBerry Live
By Kevin Michaluk on 11 May 2014 11:41 pm EDT

Since 2007, every year at about this time (give or take a day or week) I have made the trek to Orlando, Florida for BlackBerry Live, formerly known as BlackBerry World, formerly known as the Wireless Enterprise Symposium.

BlackBerry's new leadership team made the decision this year to cancel BlackBerry Live 2014, instead putting that budget into BlackBerry Experience events which are taking place around the globe. I don't disagree with the change in tactic - it totally makes sense to take the show on the road and go to where the people you're trying to reach are at.

That said, I can't help but feel a little sad right now. Seven years straight is a solid track record. This conference was my ritual. It was my annual BlackBerry pilgrimage, not just for me, but for soooooooo many other BlackBerry people. Over the years I've met and made friends with hundreds of amazing individuals at this conference. Every year I look forward to seeing the friendly faces of my BlackBerry-minded cohorts and more importantly, catching up over drinks to see how everybody survived the past year. Sure, I always appreciated the announcements and sessions and parties and food and trips to Universal, but the best part of this conference was always the people. That's what I'm missing most right now.

I did spend a few days earlier this year (after word dropped that BlackBerry Live was cancelled) doing some preliminary investigating into maybe getting a CrackBerry conference of our own up and running to fill in the void, but the undertaking wasn't proving feasible as I gathered all the data. Given the short notice on timing we had to make a yay or nay decision, so for this year it was a nay. I'm hoping BlackBerry brings back a conference of some sort for next year, or at least finds a way to put on a big consumer-focused event one evening. I do think getting the BlackBerry tribe together every so often is needed. Maybe at a minimum we can get a CrackBerry meet-up happening in the near future. Let me sleep on that...

In the meantime, with me not enjoying the sun in Orlando this week at BlackBerry Live 2014, I'm instead going to reminisce about the seven years of this event gone by and re-post to the blogs some of my favorite moments from BlackBerry Live / World / WES events over the years. I'll kick it off with last year's Welcome to BlackBerry Live intro... not necessarily one of my favorite moments, but it's a fitting one:

If you've ever been to a BlackBerry Live, BlackBerry World or WES, be sure to share your favorite memories in the comments!

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: I'm missing BlackBerry Live right now...


Kevin, what about a trip to South Africa, to see the loyal BlackBerry Fans here?

Posted via CB app on my Z10

Haven't you guys noticed the BlackBerry #1 fanboy gave up a while ago? He's moved on. ;-)

Posted via CB10

Go to Indonesia instead! The Z3 launch will be the closest thing to a big consumer event all year.

Posted via CB10

Agreed. Surprised there were no plans to have a CB presence at the Z3 launch.

Posted with my Q10, SQN100-2, Radio

Not having the event sucks. It was always great getting out there and meeting the people we 'talk' to on a daily basis but never really get to see. That was really the best part of it and now, nothing. But, yeah.. can't disagree with it either.

They didn't give you a chance to put in a single word in that video, gestures and facial expressions made up for it, LOL

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

I really liked your coverage last year. I went to the BlackBerry Experience in Toronto last week and for obvious reasons was no where near as fun. Hopefully things will go well for BlackBerry in the next few years to warrant this again.


Favorite part of BlackBerry Live last year was finally meeting all of my friends that I have been BBMing for years! Oh, and the actual on-stage event was so exhilarating!

Posted via CB10

I remember seeing the CB team back in 2010 and the seeing frenzy that surrounded them. The best part was meeting all the people I've talked to over the years on Twitter, in the forums or in these very comments.

GREAT times!

Posted via CB10

CrackBerry should sponsor BlackBerry Live 2014 and fly all the devs who have commented in this post to Orlando to chill for a few days :D

Yeah! Where can I get a Z10 or Z30 shirt, son!

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL!

BTW I hope to go... one of these days.

Swiped via CB10 with my T-Mobile USA (Only T-Mo rep still pushing  )  ‎BlackBerry Q10...oh wait a sec....its my new  BlackBerry Z30 (STA100-5), son! The holy grail of phones! Once you go BlackBerry, everything else is wack-berry! LOL!

for me the best thing on BB Live was to meet all the guys from BlackBerry, CrackBerry, BBElite and discuss face-to-face.
I also enjoyed the combination of BB Live + BBJam to get Developers also on board
I not only miss BB Live (attended only 2 times) but really miss the developer conferences BBJam.
Hopefully BBLive / BBJam will come back soon. Those one-day-events all around the world never provide same quality.

JC simply does not want to mix with us common folks it seems.

Using a BlackBerry Z10! OS:

BlackBerry Live comes back when BlackBerry Lives.

Why not do it from Waterloo. Save a fortune on set up costs. BlackBerry can control it's environment.

Live video streaming is the way forward.

Send out log in codes to specific guests.

Done and dusted.

Where is the '10' in BlackBerry 10? It's not on any BB10 devices or the start up sequence.

BlackBerry...Get it done!!! ©

Posted via CB10

Completely agree. BlackBerry is missing a trick not emphasising the 10.
Sooooo many people think my q10 is just another Bold, and that the z is some kind of rectangular Torch. The fact is that 10 is so new to most people, and yet has had time to mature over the last year or so, it can be marketed as the freshest mobile OS on the planet.

Posted via CB10

I'm guessing that they would rather brand the phone with the carriers logo. And I hope the next phone models that they make doesn't hide the most beloved logo on a smartphone, And put the logo a little higher on the back of the phone so other consumers can see it.

You Can Kiss My 

Yep feeling the same.. I went to my first WES in 2004 and had not missed one since.. Coming all the way from Oz made it a great trip.. Really missing it this year!! Next year for BES 12!!

I was just thinking, Kevin has become a mascot for BlackBerry, next he will be wearing an oversized head

Posted via CB10

Most of the events I went to were developers' ones. I remind the last two in Amsterdam as somehow epic, I was so enthusiast and met there so many great guys (no sexism , I must confess I didn't met much Ladies here). Can't be really specific, but I remind a conference where I falled asleep ... I guess that breakfast cookie just after I jumped out of the train wasn't exactly what I expected ...
Of course I was sitting in the back, but straight ahead the middle alley and the speaker ... it's time for a public "sorry"! :D

They to busy going to Chicago and DC. Just amazes me how BlackBerry feels middle America is in those two cities. Armpits of America. No NY, no Florida, no California.....just Chicago and DC. #crazy

Posted via CB10

You're still welcome to come to Orlando but you should drive about 37 miles East, over here to the Space Coast (Cocoa). It's so much nicer. I have a guest room.

Tombstone - Combat Vets Motorcycle Assn - WWW.CVMAFLORIDA.ORG

BlackBerry Live 2013 was my first time attending the annual BlackBerry event. And what a year to go. It was the best time. I finally got to meet lots of people I would normally just interact with over social media. I also finally got the meet the whole of the CrackBerry team (except Michelle :( ), in person.

Meeting people face-to-face is definitely the highlight of such events. Sure there is much to take away in terms of information too, it's the fact that you're there with like-minded people that makes the whole thing such a great experience.

Hopefully BlackBerry can bring back these events again in the future.

Maybe it could be a get together at the coming out of the Classic (Q20) and other stuff that BlackBerry will deliver like 10.3 ??

Posted via CB10

My favorite memory is BBL last year when I met the Crackberry team and got Kevin's Z10 Crunk case off his own Z10, which he then signed for me #likeaboss

Posted via CB10

I've been to my fair share of shows, and BlackBerry's always stood out. Was lucky to catch the last Jam Asia. Hope things turn around enough for another conference down the road.

My daughter got a photo with Kevin when she was about 8 months old at BBLive 2013. I agree with Chen that upgrading BlackBerry's current enterprise customers should have been a bigger sales priority during the launch of BB10 and that the product should have been designed to appeal in a distinguishing way to the defined "hyper connected mobile workforce" niche better. But, I'm not sure I can agree with canceling BlackBerry Live. Every major platform has a large conference, a kind of celebration of their relevance and importance. I mean, companies that Chen ran like Sybase probably didn't because they weren't really important outside of enterprise niches, but there's Google IO, Windows Build, Apple whatever. These are milestone dates that help keep the companies on target and help keep them in the headlines and relevant. In the US right now, BlackBerry is at its lowest point ever -- far lower than when Thor decided to publicly discuss taking the company private. I work in government and Chen's vision of government and enterprise as a firewall independent of general consumer mindshare seems to me like something that is built on assumptions that just aren't true. In the meantime, BlackBerry has essentially pulled out of the US in devices and BlackBerry devices are the only reason why people in the US buy BES. Normally, we'd get a little ray of hope by hearing some announcements at BBLive, but there's nothing. Even Chen seems to have stopped his endless, but effective, series of interviews alluding to a strategy that confirms market-bias, but which BlackBerry fans already know won't work in first world countries where enterprise is now a tail wagged by consumer preference. I mean, it's not like I want him to show the Q30 or Z50 from the stage at BBLive months before they are ready to release, but he needs to announce something and release something competitive now -- a BBLive event is a good place to do it. People are starting to think BlackBerry folded and canceling the big press event in order to fly under the radar with smaller industry junkets is just... weak.

BlackBerry is simply not ready at this moment. Money allocations rules! Anything worth doing at all is worth doing very well. I totally agree with John Chen's approach to tackling present BlackBerry mess.

Why on earth would you agree with Chen's overall strategy? Have you seen *any* evidence that it's working? BTW, he *has* the cash, but is spending it quickly. There's some room to make a move now, but there probably won't be if he waits much longer...

That sounds a little more negative than I mean to be, but Chen deserves the wrath of the CrackBerry nation. We've never had a CEO who is this much of an enemy of North American device users. But, having said that, I like the investment in the health care niche. Execution is everything, but I like the idea.

Although I'm sad for you guy I am attending one of the BB events so I'm a little excited. I would reather go to a Crackberry event....hint hint

No one gives an efff to this faux BlackBerry fanboy. He is just using us as pawns to feed us shitty stories while making a sell on this grossly overpriced accessories.

Posted via CB10

I may have only went one time but it was a amazing experience meeting the team, BlackBerry fans, and developers. We've all made lasting friendships from this conference and I hope they are able to bring it back.

I was blessed enough to be able to attend two BlackBerry Live events. It was a dream come true for me! As a huge BlackBerry fan I was nerding all over the place! Best of all I got to meet so many people from the community. It's an event that makes you love BlackBerry even more. You go home pumped about your favorite platform :)
I've been missing BlackBerry Live since last year that I got back home from BlackBerry Live 2013 hahahaha!