ASUG/SAPPHIRE NOW, the calm before the storm
Did you ever notice in movies that when a ship is in a storm, there is that last huge wave approaching, and all the people just look up at it and *gasp*?
I arrived in Orlando a day early – partly because I messed up on my calendar. No problem though. In the past two weeks, the invitations have been flying into my email, twitter, and yes, even the telephone (how retro). I thought I could put the time to good use, maybe fine-tune my presentation – or try to get acclimated to the Florida heat. Others can attest as to how well I accomplished that!
So my first pass by the convention center was on the Mears shuttle form the airport. I was fortunate that the Peabody gave me a room which actually faced the convention center! So whenever I looked out the window, I could see that huge wave in the (not-so-) distance.
I had some technical difficulties, in that my presentation (the powerpoint, editable version) was on a remote server back at work, and I had trouble figuring the drive structure to map it to my laptop. Sue Fail #1 – always bring your preso on a thumb drive or on your laptop. Not to worry though – my excellent co-presenter Ginger Gatling had a copy on her laptop, which links to the proper Camtasia files. Phew!
Otherwise, to prepare, I vowed to ignore email, ignore the calendar – looking at that huge block of triply-committed days (wasn’t I the one who said ‘Be selective about what you accept’ in a Are you ready for ASUG/SAPPHIRENOW?) was making me feel some-kind-of-phobic. When could I get coffee, or water? There looked to be 15 minutes here – maybe I could get lunch? Probably not, as the lunch halls look far away. By the way – Fear of being too busy apparently does not exist, I checked here.
Seeing the wave in the distance, I decided that the best possible course of action would be to get a Hot Stone Massage on Saturday. Good decision. Also it was a good thing I didn’t have to go anywhere, because I definitely had massage-head. A quiet dinner, and a very chance encounter with fellow mentor Jon Reed finished off the night.
Sunday. Registration was a breeze, and I had my first glimpse of the size of the convention center. ‘My’ room – the room hosting most of the ASUG WF/BPM tracks, was in 110a. The ASUG Speaker Ready Room was 221 A, and Mark Finnern’s Friendly Wolfpack room was 301. It doesn’t sound like much, but there was some distance involved. Glad I brought my Comfy Shoes – although they were not Five Fingers as Ed Hermann wore.
The ASUG speaker orientation meeting was at 5:15 Sunday evening – which was a great chance, although very brief, to meet friends, both old and new. It was followed by an SAPMentor meeting – to review the schedule of the many meetings available to us, and set down guidelines for capturing video using our new Flip cams. We also got to meet the new Mentors! New playthings, yay!
Dinner and to bed early – because, although all was quiet and friendly onboard, a look at our radar pointed out and amazing convergence of ASUG Educational Sessions, SAPPHIRE sessions, Usability Sessions, and more. The Perfect Storm was coming.