BLUG 2012: part 1

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BLUG has been really good event this year. Again!
Theo is a great host, doesn’t matter if you’re speaker or attendee, he treats you well. Extremely well. All that chocolate in a speakers room! I was full of energy and good mood until late night hours even after the whole busy day at a conference. Splendid!

Day 0: Wednesday

Being a speaker for the first time on LUG event (except Czech one) and presenting in English for the first time ever was kind of difficult for me. I was very shy at the opening event on Wednesday evening (and usually I’m not shy at all), Sean Cull helped me by “dragging me” into the conversation (thanks!) and then it went just fine. I met several speakers I had talked to year before and they remembered me! The fact that I had traveled 15 hours by bus last year to get to BLUG was probably very unusual, I don’t know why :-) Martin Donnelly introduced me to guys from XPages and Connections development team and it was an evening well spent. And those nice beers! And synchronized swimming! I had to leave early but it was for good, because having hangover and speaking is not my favorite combination.

Day 1: Thursday

First day began with quick opening by Theo Heselmans followed by keynote by Christopher Crummey and although I was nervous I enjoyed it - especially some jokes as “Eire & Notn Iron” :-D
There is a replay of the keynote available.
During the following coffee break I set up my notebook and tried projector, checked my notes and started to wait for attendees. As minutes passed there still was nobody in the room! Even at 11:30, when the session should start, there were 2 people there (not counting my friend Dave Horak - who was helping me to calm down - and me). That did not help me at all. Room filled a bit more in 5 minutes, fortunately. My guess is around 30 people. Much better than two. When I started to talk I heard my trembling voice and realized that it’s not good. So I frankly told attendees that I’m nervous and my voice is just attempting to synchronize with my body (I’m really happy nobody shouted “thanks Cpt. Obvious!”). Looking back those approx. 50 minutes were exciting experience for me. I found out that people are not cruel creatures waiting to take you down on any small mistake and - because I was adventurous enough to show a lot of live demos - that not everything breaks in the worst possible time. Even the projector lamp blew off near the end of the session! Just last two slides were skipped and one of them was “Thank you” slide. You can see all the slides here.
There was Spark ideas session during lunch break. If you’re not familiar with it, there is replay of Lotusphere 2012 Spark ideas sessions available. And I saw Chris Miller with camera there so I guess there will be replay available for BLUG Spark ideas as well.
I took a little break after the lunch so the next session I attended was Everything about LotusScript by Bill Buchan. And it was fun! He is a great speaker and also the content was very interesting. And I’m not talking about the content of his pants. This remark sounds VERY strange, I know, but I’m not going to clarify it! :) You had to be there!
Next session about Teamstudio’s Unplugged product was interesting as well. I only wonder how many of attendees were there because of the content and how many because of the free drinks and possibility to win iPad 3…
There were free beers also at the next XPages Blast session and Tim Clark at the beginning told us that those who drink highest number of beers during the session are going to win XPages Portable Command Guide. We did drink most - Dave and me - but shock! horror! books went to people ASKING questions not BURPING them :-)
I had really liked speed sponzoring part of BLUG last year and this year it was great again. 12 or so different presentation styles, different products, different gifts, different chances to win valuable prizes. And free beer. Excellent combination.

To be continued…