Last week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Midwest Lotus User Group (MWLUG) 2012 Conference, which was held in Pittsburgh, PA. I was also honored to speak at the conference this year. My presentation was entitled “How to Be a Domino Administration Superhero”. My slides and video can be found here.
I took ‘my pride’ (family) with me, as they didn’t really get a vacation this year due to my change of employers this year. In reality, my wife and kids really enjoy attending MWLUG… everyone that attends the conference are really nice to them, and it gives them a chance to see in person all of ‘Daddy’s Lotus friends’. My kids especially look forward to seeing Richard Moy… a quote from one of my kids, “He’s so nice!” – I agree!
We drove to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, and started bumping into friends even before checking in. The hotel, the Omni William Penn, is beautiful, and the staff was very nice. They even provided the kids milk and cookies each night, plus a ‘Kids Pack’ that normally cost $8 each for free. (That’s goes a long way to insure repeat business!) Once we checked in and unpacked, we ran to a nearby Arby’s for a quick bite, and then came back so I could attend the Welcome Reception. Thanks to Sherpa Software for sponsoring this! The beverages and hors d’oeuvres were very tasty! I visited some of the vendors that were in attendance and bumped into more and more friends, especially “Uncle” Devin Olson. After a quick walk and a cigar, a few of us went to the hotel bar, where I enjoyed more of everyone’s hospitality. Before I knew it, I was back in my room getting a few minutes of sleep.
On Thursday, I came down to get breakfast and attend the opening general session. Kathy Donatelli and Louis Richardson did an outstanding job! (Lindsay Patross spoke at lunchtime, and was great as well!) All of the keynote speakers kept me entertained and informed. Many times, you leave a keynote not getting anything out of it, but this was not the case for any of them! I hope to see them speak again. After the opening session, I attended BP102 – NOTES.INI Secrets, presented by my new friend, Jalpresh “JT” Tailor, which was had some overlap to the session I was presenting on Friday, but with more than enough differences to be informative. (I even took a few notes for my presentation. Thanks, JT!) Right after that, it was back to the main hall for lunch and Lindsay’s presentation. The rest of the day seemed a blur, but before I knew it, it was over, and I was back in my room tweaking my presentation for the next day.
On Friday, I got up early and lead a BOF (Birds of a Feather) for the Detroit Notes Professionals User Group (DNP), which unfortunately had only a couple of people attend due to the time and other BOFs going on at the same time. (It was noted that there was not a lot of people from the Michigan region at the conference, which is a shame.) Following the DNP BOF, I swallowed some more coffee, and then got ready to present my session. What started out as a couple of people turned into a full room. After my session, which was well received by those in attendance, I attended Kim Greene’s session, “Be a Domino Detective – Tackling Your Toughest Performance Issues”. If you have a chance to attend any session Kim gives, do so… you won’t regret it! Next, I attended a session on IBM SmartCloud for Social Business presented by Rupert Clayton from CDW. I honestly didn’t expect to get a lot out of it, but not only did I learn a lot, but there was some great discussion during the session. Due to a work commitment, I had to grab the pride and our luggage, and head back to Detroit early, but not before dropping off some gifts, courtesy of just a few of Michigan’s finest brewers.
I want to thank Richard Moy, Gregg Eldred and the rest of the organizing group that made MWLUG 2012 possible. There were over 180 attendees, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I’ve organized conventions and other major events before, and it seems to be a thankless job, but believe me, I appreciate all of your efforts! I also want to thank the committee for selecting me to speak. I always enjoy speaking in front of people and sharing what I know. I hope to be able to do more of that in the future!
I also want to thank the sponsors of MWLUG 2012 who spent their hard earned money to give us a first class conference for next to nothing. Take a look at these companies, and check out their services. You will be glad you did!
I want to thank my employer and colleagues for allowing me to attend this conference. Without them, it would not have been possible.
I also want to thank my family for coming with me to this event and giving me the time prepare for my session and to meet up with friends (even until the wee hours of the night). I know that they had a great time in Pittsburgh, and know that they are already planning a trip back there soon. (Maybe this time, I can see the sights with them… LOL!)
Thanks go out to the conference hotel, the Omni William Penn Hotel, for treating my family with class. This hotel is beautiful, and that staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. If you are planning a stay in Pittsburgh, try to stay here.
Finally, thanks go out to those of you that attended the Detroit Notes Professionals BOF and my session. I hope that you got something out of it, and just remember that ALL OF YOU ARE SUPERHEROES!
Next year’s conference, MWLUG 2013, is scheduled for August 13-16, 2013, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I admit that a few of us were campaigning for the conference to come to Michigan (#MWLUGinMI), but I trust the committee with their decision making process. (It also doesn’t hurt to have Sam Bridegroom wanting to quarterback.) I’ve already got it on my calendar, and you should too! I hope to see you all there!