Friday, December 03, 2010

UKOUG Conference Review - Part 1

Well I finally made it back home from the UKOUG Conference in Birmingham, only a day and a half later than planned.
The problem was not Birmingham, no snow issues there although it was very cold, but Newcastle airport was closed for a couple of days and trains were struggling to get through all the snow ‘Oop North’.

The Conference itself was a fantastic event and, from a personal perspective, it was my favourite one out of the many that I have attended.

There’s not one specific reason for that, other than I got to attend quite a few of the technical sessions this year, spent time with good friends and made a few more. I also seemed to be constantly on the go, TEBS is always a very busy event for the UKOUG staff and Directors, but I feel that I somehow had more time this year to network and actually talk to people.

My presentation was on Monday afternoon and the feedback I got afterwards was positive which always makes it worthwhile. It was nice to have it on the Monday too so that I could do it well and then enjoy the rest of the event afterwards.

Monday was also the day of the UKOUG Pantomime.

We followed on straight from the keynote in Hall 1 and, after spending 30 minutes backstage getting Ronan into costume, it was hard work to compose myself again so as not to spend the whole time on stage in hysterics.

Doug Burns was a true sport, Marco looked to be having a great time waving a chainsaw around the stage, and Debra and Ronan were brilliant as the medics. I think it will take Ronan a while to live down the ‘Naughty Nurse Miles’ tag.:)

All of us involved had a great time and really enjoyed doing it, even if we did manage to make complete fools out of ourselves in the process!

Aside from the fun, there was a serious note with the whole thing being to raise money for Doug’s Movember Charity efforts.
The very generous audience were able to add more than £300 to his total – well done and thank you!

Of course, we ended up having so much fun during the Panto itself that not all of the Mo was removed there and then. Thank you to Alex Gorbachev for helping me out with the final shave in the Tap & Spile afterwards.

I’m now winding down from Conference, I had planned to be out Xmas shopping at the end of this week, but losing a day with extra travelling and being snowed in here has put an end to that.

Instead, I’ll be writing up another blog post about the Inspiring Presentation Awards and planning the fun for next year’s TEBS... :)


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