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SHARE Session Type Guidelines

The following guidelines are intended to provide clarity around the definitions associated with the different session types available as part of the SHARE event schedule. These guidelines may not cover every possible scenario but are intended to aid in the decision-making process. All SHARE Senior Management decisions concerning disputed session types will be considered final.

Sessions purchased as a sponsorship opportunity through the SHARE sales organization are not eligible for SHARE Live! or for video recording.

The following session type is purchased as a sponsorship opportunity through the SHARE sales organization:

> Vendor Sponsored Presentation (VSP):

A Vendor Sponsored Presentation session is one that is primarily about a vendor’s product or services and its uses. These sessions are allowed to be sales/marketing focused. These sessions are purchased.

NOTE:  Breakfast and Learn/Lunch and Learn sessions are also considered to be Vendor Sponsored Presentations.

VSPs also have the following characteristics:

  • May be about any aspect of a vendor’s product or service.
  • Provide a product/service overview.
  • May be more of a “Marketing glossy” versus “Technical manual.”
  • SHARE Technology Exchange Expo (trade show) Rules apply to these sessions.

NOTE – The following apply ONLY to VSPs:

  • Vendors are allowed to offer raffles and/or giveaways and gather leads during their allotted presentation time.
  • Companies are required to purchase exhibit space at the SHARE Technology Exchange Expo to be eligible to purchase a Vendor Sponsored Presentation.
  • Food and/or beverages are not permitted (except in Breakfast and Learns or Lunch and Learns).

The following session types must be approved by the sponsoring Project:

> Vendor (VEND) Session:

A Vendor session is one that is primarily about a vendor’s product or service and its implementation, how to utilize it effectively and/or how to use it to solve problems. These sessions may include participation by a user speaker; however, the session may still be classified as a Vendor session if the primary focus is on a particular vendor’s product or service.

A VEND session (versus a VSP session):

  • Can highlight a product or service; however, the content must be about its implementation, how to utilize it effectively and/or how to use it to solve problems.
  • Are you teaching me something? Are you providing in-depth information, not an overview?
  • It has “Technical manual” content versus “Marketing glossy” content.

A VEND session (versus a USER session):

  • Presented by a speaker compensated by or sponsored by product/service vendor.
  • May include a speaker testimonial about a product/service.
  • A session advertised as “user experience” (in the title or abstract) but presented by a third party, not an employee of the actual user company.

> User (USER) Session:

The content of a User session is focused on the implementation, management and/or use in resolving problems and challenges of enterprise technology. Typically, these sessions are not focused on any specific vendor’s products or services; however, products may be seen in examples. Speaker(s) in a User session are not affiliated with a product/service vendor and/or have no direct financial interest in the subject being presented. User experiences with a vendor’s products or services may be presented ONLY if done independently of the vendor of the product or service.

A USER session (versus a VEND session):

  • Presented by an independent speaker employed by user company.
  • Speaker is not being compensated by or receiving an incentive from any vendor to support or endorse a product.
  • Content is typically not focused on any specific vendor’s products/services, though products may be seen in examples.

> IBM Session:

An IBM presentation is any presentation given by a speaker in the employ of IBM. This may also include non-IBM employees speaking on behalf of IBM as a customer testimonial.


SHARE Canons of Conduct apply for all session types. The only exemption is for VSP sessions where Canons C and D do not apply.