FoxForward 2007 – Day 1

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Last night I wasn’t dreaming about FoxForward too much. And that concerned me. I was dreaming and wondering why I wasn’t dreaming about FoxForward. Some things just don’t make sense in dreams.

I got up at about 6:30am and started working on preparing for FoxForward Day 1. All of the printing that we had thought of was complete. We would have lots of copies to make at the Hilton Garden Inn Business Center but that would have to wait until I checked into the hotel. I ate some breakfast, read some email, fed the dog, and started staging everything that I’d need to take to the hotel. Attendee bags, extension cords, Sharpie pens, rubber bands, swag, “Best of FoxForward” trophies. Everything had to go.

I arrived at the hotel around 10:15am. It was strangely quiet. I made two trips from the car using the hotel buggy before I met Larry. Larry is the event coordinator that helped me out last year. Larry is a wealth of knowledge and is a “get it done” kinda guy. It’s good to have him on our side again this year. We discussed the location of the food and drinks and made a couple of minor changes. The room setups looked good. Only a couple of small adjustments like adding the tables for the LCD projectors were needed.

Kim, my wife, and my kids showed up around 11:45. Grandma (my mother) was going to keep the kids for the weekend during the conference. Kim started straightening out the mess that I made of things. After 15 years of marriage, she’s good about that. Grandma arrived to take the kids at noon.

I was busy getting extension cords distributed to the conference rooms when Matt Clark of RoomWide showed up with the projection equipment. He’s on his lunch break for his real job and needed some help getting the equipment into the hotel. Not a problem. I helped carry stuff in. He took care of most of the set up but the third projector screen needed both of us there to put it together. It all got done though.

My father showed up to help with the registration table. I’m afraid that Kim and I both left at about this point. Kim had to get some copies made at the Business Center. I had to get checked in and get some lunch. It’s good of my Dad to get settled in and to be able to take over like that. He is and was a great help.

While checking into the hotel, Janice Macdonald walked out of her office and said hello. Janice recently lost her husband in a traffic crash in Canada, weeks before the conference. I told her how sorry I was and that I was thinking about her and her family. She started to cry … but she tried to stop herself. What do you say at a moment like that? What comfort could I have been? We’re at the hotel to celebrate FoxPro and technology of all kinds, and Janice is struggling with the loss of her husband, trying to work to avoid some of the pain that she’s feeling. There’s no words I could say. I wish I could take a small portion of the pain that she’s feeling and bear that burden.

But the conference continues to approach. I run across to Jason’s Deli to get a sandwich. I bring it back to the hotel and scarf it down while making copies of the Speaker Evaluation forms. This took *forever*. Three forms (to get the attendees started) multiplied by the number of attendees equals a whole lot of copies. We’ll just have to encourage them to fill them out online.

The attendees are starting to roll in real regularly now. I’m reacquainting myself with old friends, as well as putting faces with the names that I had seen for months. It’s after three now and I need to get a shower and get dressed for the Meet And Greet that starts at 4pm. Quick get that done.

The meet and greet gets started and a good number of people are milling around. There are others that are already taking seats for the presentations to begin. I didn’t want to call everyone out for the “speech” that I had prepared, so with a quiet beginning, the sessions started.

Kevin Ragsdale started off with his VFP Crash Course while Dave Bernard spoke on Instrumenting Your Application. Dave got more attendees, but the turn out for a “VFP 101” course was impressive. I heard good things about both of these sessions.

Next up was Kevin with part 2 of the VFP Crash Course and Stein Goering presented on WWWC5. Again, I heard good things about both.

We had arranged to go over to the Loafing Leprechaun restaurant and pub. The crowd settled on eating outdoors. The service was a bit slow which is to be expected with a crowd of about 30. I sat with the Chicago and Wisconsin crowd. When the bill came, I realized that I left my wallet at the hotel. Dagnabbit! Eric picked up my tab. Thanks Eric!

I finally got to make my speech, thanked my family, the sponsors, the speakers, and the attendees for coming. I also encouraged the attendees to fill out the speaker evaluations and the other evaluations too. We’ll see if the crowd remembers that one tomorrow!

Anyway, I’m writing this blog when I should be going over my presentation tomorrow. I better get to it. So far, no major blunders. There’s still time however. {g}

More drinking from the technological fire hose of knowledge tomorrow! (Okay, “today”.)

2 thoughts on “FoxForward 2007 – Day 1

  1. rcampbell12

    Kevin, Glad to see that FF is off to a good start this year. Too bad about John Koziol. It only occurred to me a few minutes ago, but you should have pushed tonight’s Allman Brothers concert at Piedmont Park as another good reason to come to FF. Of course, it’s sold out now, but if this was mentioned way back, people might have gotten a ticket and enjoyed what I’m sure will be a great concert this evening. Good luck tomorrow. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it this year. You know the house payment situation, plus I’m sitting here working and will be tomorrow, also.

  2. kcully Post author

    Hey Russell,

    We miss ya here. We’re all sitting in the front foyer playing XBox360 games and responding to blog comments. {g} Get that house sold!

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