Years ago myself and many of my friends would get together at Uptime Institute's Symposium. Now I get together with those same friends and many others at 7x24 Exchange instead of Uptime Symposium. Over years and years of going to data center conferences I figured out what was best for me, but couldn't explain why. I'll go through some perspectives that you may agree or disagree with to help you choose what is best for you.
First, the title of the organizations. Uptime Institute. 7x24 Exchange. Uptime and 7x24 are different words to communicate availability. The difference is in the words Institute vs. Exchange.
Institute: an educational institution and especially one devoted to technical fields
Exchange: an occurrence in which people give things of similar value to each other : the act of giving or taking one thing in return for another thing
Uptime Institute is like an education data center authority. 7x24 Exchange is a place where people can receive and give information. Institute is where you are being lectured to. Exchange is where you interact with the attendees and discuss ideas. At the Institute the staff are like professors busy presenting and attending meetings. At the Exchange the staff are socializing, discussing ideas and collecting feedback.
If you go back to the start of the two organizations you can get a better idea of how they were set up. This document created by 7x24 Exchange in memorial of Ken Brill's contribution describes the history.
Ken Brill set up Uptime Institute as his company to be the authority in data center information (Uptime Institute) while another users group which became the 7x24 Exchange.
Uptime Institute Symposium says it is
The foremost conference for data center leaders and professionals presented by the Global Data Center Authority.
7x24 Exchange says
7x24 Exchange International, founded in 1989, is the leading knowledge exchange for those who design, build, operate and maintain mission-critical enterprise information infrastructures and the primary resource for valuable information within the mission critical industry. 7x24 Exchange's goal is to improve end-to-end reliability by promoting dialogue among these groups through conferences, membership, and the 7x24 Magazine.
Where are you? Are you looking for the Institute that lays claim to be the Global Data Center Authority? Or are you looking for where you can exchange information with your peers.
Over the past 10 years the data center innovation is coming from companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, and others who are building Cloud Infrastructures. Do these companies present at 7x24 Exchange or Uptime Institute Symposium?
Myself I prefer 7x24 Exchange, and I speak my opinion which the 7x24 staff is supportive of. Speaking up and writing about conferences is probably what got me blacklisted from attending Uptime Symposium. http://www.greenm3.com/gdcblog/2014/5/16/uptime-symposiums-cancellation-of-my-expo-pass-confuses-when.html