I was a bad blog girl all week. I just had a dizzying and fun time seeing so many friends and meeting so many new people and learning learning learning. (oh and a party or two…)
I thought I would just try to get my experience down on [paper?] though much of this will be redundant from many many other posts.
(Day – 1) I flew in Saturday. I arrived at the airport at 6:15 am (mind you, I am not a morning person…) to find that my flight was cancelled and I would be flying out at 1:30pm instead. This meant missing an important INETA meeting on Saturday afternoon that I was really looking forward to. I met up with Christian Nagel, (author, Austrian MSDN Regional Director, INETA Europe Director and wearer of many other hats as well) in the Dulles airport while we waited for our flight to San Diego. I got to see the 4 possible covers of his upcoming Addison-Wesley book on Enterprise Services and had an opportunity to vote on which cover I preferred. This new book is part of the awesome A-W .NET Development Series. Very impressed!
In S.D. we found Jas Sandhu while we were waiting for our bags and Jas and I headed up to La Jolla for Michele Leroux Bustamante’s party at her wonderful home and finally got to meet her hubby. I also met Richard Campbell in person for the first time there. what a great guy he is! Ted Neward had a car so we drove back to SD with him, almost by way of Los Angeles since the exit was really easy to miss. Ted exhibited a trait that we were all impressed with. He pulled off the highway and asked directions. Clemens Vasters was a exhausted from many hours of travel and [still blogless] Cathi Gero and I were teasing him that he was like one of those strangers on the NYC subways that doze off and end up with their head on your shoulder.
(Day 0 – INETA) Sunday was our all day INETA meeting. What fun it was to arrive and meet Joan Murray from Addison-Wesley after 2 years of communicating by email. There were so many people there and lots of new faces thanks to 20 “scholarship” invitees by D.E.s around the country. The meeting was all day. We had presentions by various INETA illuminati as well as a number of Microsoft folks. We learned how too work with sponsors, how to extend training within a user group, what Microsoft Developer Community Champions, Developer Evenglists and MSDN Regional Directors do and how to connect with them. We were presented with lots of information on how to work with resources at Microsoft. We also got to meet with many vendors (key to user group sponsorship and swag provision…). My own INETA committee, the User Group Relations committee, had an opportunity to do a little evangelizing to acquire some more liaisons. Since we are working with over 200 user groups in North America, we try to ensure that each user group leader has a personal relationship with someone at INETA and we continuously have to grow our committee in order to achieve that.
After the meeting, we migrated to a great cocktail party for INETA (surely, you’ve read about the tequila bottles by now) and I was also able to hook up with my Burlington pal, Ali Aghareza, who was very excited to be attending his very first conference.
After the cocktail party, Ali and a few others and I walked over to the convention center to register. By now it was about 9pm. On the way there, we bumped in to one person after another that was someone I am friends with and so happy to see, Stan Schultes, (frequent VSM author and founder of the .NET Pub Clubs – link is to Russ Fustino’s page but has info on the pub clubs), Don Kiely and a host of others.
Back at the W MSDN was instrumental in sponsorship of the INETA meeting and had provided a block of rooms at the W San Diego Hotel that were filled up by many people attending the meetings. The W is a very trendy hotel. It’s not the kind of place where you can go buy a candy bar late at night. It is just filled with bars. It is also the hottest new nightspot in San Diego. Lots of young women with low cut tight fitting shirts (it seems to be the main fashion trend in S.D.). Very trendy. I felt like a freakin’ school marm walking around there. Egads. But oh well. I finally went to bed at about 1:30 am (this is 4:30 my own time and I had gotten up at 5am that morning and of course did not sleep on the plane) and could still hear music from the bar way up on the 7th floor. Next time, I’m going to the old folks hotel. However, my room was beautiful and of course I love those fantastic Heavenly beds that are also in sister-hotel the Westin are, well, heavenly!
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