Convergence again this year was an exciting, innovative, creative and almost overwhelming conference. Well worth the trip and all that entails. I look forward to next year. It already sounds like it will again exceed expectations for a conference.
Being a second year attendee my strategy for this conference was different but the outcome the same. With the amount of vendors with solution intelligence, peers with shared experience knowledge, and a diverse culture of every size and shape company you can imagine to the sessions, labs, and support in person there is no way you can possibly take all of this in. You see sessions presented by favorite bloggist or the developer of and specialist for a product that has a black box in it, and of course the ones that were a last minute choice based on a conversation outside a door of a session.
This year my strategy included a list of issues people have mentioned to me (most of I know unfortunately I may have actually uncovered a bug) over the past year. Also I bring a list of my vendors which if I love and this year I stopped by to chat and if I dint well you may have been depreciated by a new Microsoft feature. And a list of enhancements that bring me to new vendors. I did not plan sessions ahead of time. I did the last year and ended up going to all other ones anyway. In the hotel between a couple on the fly UG sessions and the reception I picked out some more of my sessions then quickly realized ONE session I missed already. I quickly tried to fill my schedule with sessions. Empty slots I would reserve for spending time in the vendor area and looking for solutions and labs and support chats.
The night life of any conference is off the hook and I feel this is a second year convergence has raised the bar. We will just say if you weren’t there I feel bad for you. I rode a mechanical bull, drank the local Texas brew Shiner Bock , played games and watched dancers and Daughtry entertain the attendees all in the Minute maid ball park at the first reception alone. After meeting three MVP’s and my fifth bloggist I follow who also follows me and tons of professionals I was getting close to mental capacity for the first day of a conference and what was always next but the vendors to the rescue with libation party galore, entertainment and excitement to help you let loose for a bit before the next days brain bust which starts with a breakfast at the crack of dawn followed by a live musical act blasting music and lively dancers and a key note to inspire you. I do find some many situations where you meet so many good people with a little story about what we are all there to find something. Sometime even if you don’t know exactly what that is when you start as you share you are constantly being enticed by other ideas that you hadn’t ever even thought of let alone came here to find and you are off on another track of things that you will try to accomplish while you are here. Needless to say the strategy gave me a plan on an ever changing road map and that worked well. Of course I know there were a lot of missed opportunities it only makes me want to buckle down and make sure I get to the next one to see if it can again exceed all expectations and send you home exhausted, enlighten, inspired and motivated to start something…..Monday. And spend the next two days catching back up on linked in with my new found contacts and friends, trying to recall anything I forgot to write down and get started on my post convergence goal list.