#GPUGSummit 2015 – Pre Conference – Part 1 of 2

David Meego - Click for blog homepageGPUGSummit_Logo

After arriving Saturday afternoon after my road trip with Craig Klapman, I was able to spend the rest of the day writing up some blog posts on the time I spent in Mexico and then getting some sleep.

On Sunday, I decided to see how long it would take to walk from the Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino to the Atlantis Resort Spa & Casino. I was thinking that I could walk to the Atlantis during the week of the conference as it did not look that far.

I was planning to continue past the Atlantis and on to the Meadowood Mall shopping centre. I was told that the Atlantis was about half way and the hotel was easily visible so it should be fine. Looks were very deceptive and it turned out to be quite a long walk, about 25 minutes to the Atlantis and about an hour to get to the mall.

My short walk, turned out to be 4.1km (2.5 miles)

On the plus side it did give me a chance to get some nice photos of the venues.

Peppermill Resort, Spa & Casino has an Italian theme for the entire complex

Atlantis Resort, Spa & Casino and Reno Sparks Convention Center

As I was walking away from the Atlantis towards the mall, I heard a funny noise behind me. I turned to see that the Atlantis which has a section that crosses the road and has pillars on each side was flaring torches at the top of the pillars.

Flaring the torches on the pillars on each side of the road at the Atlantis.

During the next few days, I asked a local taxi driver about the torches and he said that the don’t light them very often and that I was lucky to see them lit. Anyhow, I continued to the shops and did the shopping that I had planned. For the return trip, I caught the bus back to the Atlantis and went in search of some of my conference buddies (my friends that I only see in person at conferences).

Belinda Allen had left her smartphone at home, but I was able to call John Lowther on his phone and catch up with Belinda, John, and Mark Huff. We went across to the sky bridge to conference center and located the GPUG Academy training rooms where we would be running training of the next couple of days.

As the Summit Conference registration was open, we decided to get registered and pick up the conference name tags and guide, etc. As part of the registration, I was offered a GPUG Summit bag and bottle, which I did not take. There were more GPUG attendees than bags available so this would help those who wanted a bag and bottle get one. Also, I already travel with a bag and water bottle and would not have room in my luggage to take the extras home.

Just a comment here: I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I love branded things but in my opinion conference bags are not the best way to go. Most people already have a bag that they travel with and everyone having the same bag makes it easy to pick up the wrong one. I would prefer a conference shirt or polo. I still have many conference shirts from years ago, including the 1998 Great Plains World Wide Developers Conference in Fargo, ND, USA. You just need to ask sizing during registration and have a few extras of each size for late registrations and size changes. PS: I can’t fit into some of the shirts but keep them any way for the memories.

After registration we decided to head back to the Atlantis for lunch. During lunch we persuaded Belinda to go get a cheap “burner” phone so she was at least contactable.

Clockwise: John Lowther, Mark Huff, Belinda Allen and David Musgrave at the Purple Parrot.

At lunch, John decided that it was my job to organise a dinner for the friends who were already in Reno. So with Mark Huff’s help we organised a dinner for 10 people at the Atlantis Steakhouse. I then decided to head back to the Peppermill (by taxi as John told me I as mad to walk), to drop off my shopping and chill before dinner. On the way out of the Atlantis, I caught up with my friends Mark and Kelli from Rockton Software. It is always great to see Mark’s smiling face. Can you believe that it is 14 years ago that Mark and I presented the “Pushing the Limits with Dexterity” conference session?

Rockton Software’s Kelli Sexton and Mark Rockwell

I caught a taxi back to Atlantis and started to locate other friends who were joining us for dinner. The booking had been expanded from 10 to 17 people while I was at the Peppermill. What the hell, the more the merrier! We ended up being 16 as John Lowther counted himself twice (must be an ego thing). Also Leslie Vail could not make it, but I was able to call Thomas Garcia to come and join us (which saved him from eating alone in a strange city… not fun). After dinner, a few of us staying at the Peppermill caught a taxi back to the hotel to crash for the night.

DinnerDinner at Atlantis Steakhouse
Clockwise: Mark Huff, Tanya Henderson, David Musgrave, Belinda Allen, Zubin Gidwani, Michelle Kocher, Kim Peterson, Jay Manley, Craig Klapman, Mike McDowell, Barbara Gavron, John Lowther, Steve Linz, Bob McAdam, Sheila Jefferson-Ross, Thomas Garcia

I had an early start on Monday as I was running two GPUG Academy classes. I caught a shuttle bus from the hotel to the Convention Centre grabbed a light breakfast. I then ran two four hour training sessions for GPUG Academy.

  • Introduction to Support Debugging Tool / GP Power Tools
  • Advanced Support Debugging Tool / GP Power Tools

The sessions were originally labelled as Support Debugging Tool (SDT), but as the SDT has been discontinued, we instead focused on its replacement, GP Power Tools (GPPT) and highlighted where there were differences. Thanks to all the attendees to both sessions, I really enjoyed going through most of the features of the product. Apologies if the advanced session got a little in depth, but hopefully you now at least have an idea of how powerful the multilingual and cross dictionary scripting capabilities are.

After the training I headed back to the Atlantis Steakhouse for the PreGame to Summit Reception. It was great to catch up with many of the partners and sponsors for the PreGame partner event. I caught up with fellow MVP, Beat Bucher who was also there. I think the venue under estimated the demand for the bar as they did not have enough serving staff initially, and people were waiting a while for drinks. There was finger food, but not enough to count as a meal.

After the reception, Sheila Jefferson-Ross and Leslie Vail gave Thomas Garcia, Beat Bucher and I a lift back to the Peppermill and then the six of us grabbed some dinner at Cafe Milano. After dinner, Beat and I said good bye to the others and headed off to the GPUG Chapter Leader Bash which was being held at the Peppermill’s Terrace Lounge.

On arrival, Rose Spitzer grabbed the two of us and asked us to be part of the proceedings. We were involved in a fun activity giving the top ten reasons why it is great to be a GPUG Chapter Leader and work with the GPUG team of Dynamic Communities. There was also some live music and dancing.

GPUGChapterLeadBashKim Peterson and John Lowther tearing up the dance floor

Beat and I left the Bash while some of the others kept going. It was late after a long day and we both had a number of events scheduled for Tuesday.

More to come.


This article was originally posted on http://www.winthropdc.com/blog.

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