Not the talk, not the shameless product presentation, not the brand that hosted the event.
But the audience-to-audience exchange of information and the learning that happened afterwards.
For instance, I learned:
There is an ongoing USAID grant to create a Master in Analytics program for one provincial university north of Manila. Why there of all places? Kinda flimsily, because it's situated a stone's throw from a former U.S. air base, which is now a technohub housing one site (among many) for a 32,000-strong BPO player that would seem to need fresh supply of data science talent in the next few years.
CAN YOU HEAR MY ENGLISH NOW?
A notoriously litigious and infamously toxic tech staffing firm is allegedly looking for an English-skills assessment tool for either its recruiters or its IT consultants. And its founder seems to be hard of hearing.
Joining business associations is like being a chicken thrown into the middle of a wolf pack that has a sales quota.
The smartest chickens--impervious to wolves--will naturally get drawn to the lone wolf that doesn't pounce on them and instead gets to know them better to extend valuable assistance without expecting chicken breast in return.