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.