Let me just say that it's been quite a week. In fact, right now, I'd be happy if I didn't have to get on another plane for awhile (oh, for about three weeks or so). The week started off with two plane cancellations and getting put up in a hotel in Cincinnati called the Drawbridge Inn. Classy place, I tell you. They had these engraved plaques that look like they've been in place since the place was built back in the '80s.
After finally arriving in Vancouver late Tuesday evening (so late, it was Wednesday morning), I hit the sack to be able to be fresh and ready for a day of blogging on Wednesday. The live blogging went fairly well but I did run into a couple snags including forgetting to plugin my laptop at one point to recharge the battery.
The two days of sessions went by way too fast. I wish there was another day to take in all the cool discussion. The longer format was hit and miss. A hit when the speakers worked well together (as they did in George Oates and Paul Hammond's presentation, one of my favourites) but felt long when it essentially turned into two 1-hour sessions.
The lowlight for me was missing the opportunity to meet Doug Bowman who had to miss out due to a back injury (get well soon!).
The highlight was certainly everything else. I was worried I'd stick to chatting with the same people I already knew and yet I managed to meet and engage a bunch more people including some who made the trip from Ottawa like Dan Sauvé, Jay West, and Jason Kiss (undoubtedly more and I'm sorry if I missed you!).
I also had the pleasure of being bestowed with the "Britpack Diamond Geezer Award" and a lovely umbrella perfect for the Vancouver rain. It came as a complete surprise.
The Media Temple Party
I still remember the MT party from SXSW last year where I drank too much. Luckily, this year, I kept myself fairly respectable and managed to continue chatting up with a bunch of new people. I also learned of the Tantek Effect. Fun times...
The Day After Tomorrow
After the two days of sessions came two days of skiing. I didn't partake in the skiing but instead opted to socialize with everybody hanging out in the lodge where Microsoft treated us to free food and drinks for the day. (We all considered it restitution for all our IE debugging days.)
I didn't head back to the lodge on the second day of skiing and instead decided to take in a little Vancouver site-seeing with Chris Mills which had us walking around endlessly. We met up with Craig Saila afterwards for a bite to eat in Gastown and then walked back to the hotel afterwards where we just chatted for a few hours before Craig and I had to head to the airport to catch our flight.
Overall, this conference was really well organized. Everything went smooth, from the sessions, to the lunches, to the parties. I'm looking forward to next year and I feel like many of the people who attended are looking forward to it, too.
Lastly, I'd mention all the people I met and chatted with but that list would seriously be too long but certainly thanks to Maxine Sherrin, Derek Featherstone, Dave Shea and John Alsopp for putting together a great conference and allowing me to be involved; and thanks to Tiff Fehr for giving me a lift up to Whistler.
I so wish I could have been there. :(
But I'll be at SXSW, so that should be fun!
Jina: too bad you couldn't come. Definitely looking forward to SXSW. It was funny leaving the conference... everybody kept saying, "See you next month!"
It was my first conference, and I thought it went really well. I enjoyed meeting plenty of people, and hope I'll get to do so again in the future!
I got stuck in Cincinatti when I missed a connecting flight to Vegas from Boston and was shuttled to the Drawbridge Inn!
Definitely looked and sounded like a great conference based on the general reactions I've seen and heard.
Such a conference being a rare thing in Canada I wish I could have been there. Maybe next year they'll try it on the East coast instead (hint hint).
Looking forward to seeing you at SXSW!
Hey Snook, it was great meeting you at WDN and it was definitely a great time for everyone involved. Hopefully I can make it to WDN again next year.
"A Brit Pack Diamond Geezer": because snook's the man!
Sounds like you had a great time! Can you add a link to your conference blog (I didn't see it here on your site, so I assume it's hosted elsewhere).
Also, this is definitely OT, but - I am planning to attend Railsconf 2007 with a shiny new laptop, first time I've traveled with one, so I'm a bit nervous about making sure it comes back home with me!
As a seasoned digital nomad, do you have any tips or suggestions you can share with us on how you attend to laptop security at conferences? Does it follow you everywhere, including the toilet? Or do you trust it to a friend to watch it? What if you're "new in town" & don't know anyone? How about leaving it in the hotel room, is that an invitation for theft? Jeez, I think I'll just bring a spiral notepad and my favourite uni-ball...
Thanks, really enjoy your blog!
It was great meeting you at the conference and I agree that the overall feeling was a great conference. I'm looking forward to next year.
Keep up the great work man!
@Mark, were you in Cincinatti on the Sunday night? I find it amusing that we may have been on the same shuttle!
@Philip Steiner: the liveblogging was posted to the WDN, hop on over and read up on all the crazy notes. As to the whole laptop thing, you're pretty safe leaving it in the hotel room unless you're staying at some crappy pay by the hour motel. :) Otherwise, don't let it leave your side. That's what I do.
@Jonathan: My visit to the infamous Drawbridge Inn was actually back in 2002. I just find it amusing that a tale of a missed connection in Cincinatti can immediately conjure an image of the exact same experience.
@Snook It was great to chat with you at the wrap party. Funny how you need to travel so far to have a conversation with someone of similar interest from the same city. Let's try to organize an Ottawa web standards meetup this year. There seems to be a lot of interest on meetup.com
@jay I'm in on the Ottawa web standards meetup for sure! I think it would be a lot of fun and I'd like to meet some of the other developers around Ottawa.
I love your site!