I arrived in Orlando this year after driving the 8 hours by choice. I arrived a day early to get myself ready for what many in the ‘community’ saw as the end of Lotusphere. I knew it would be stressful for many, including me. I’m an insider, so I knew the messages that were on the way and wondered how they’d be received.
On Saturday, I watched the community soccer/flag football party on the beach, greeted the incoming arrivals, collected a thousand or more hugs, then participated in the blogger’s annual dinner/drinks over at the Big River Brewery. It was there that I met a man who would be dead the next day after a motorcycle accident. Most of the men on the motorcycle ride were speakers and/or friends of mine and were and are profoundly affected by the tragedy. This started the show with a pall, and especially for the men involved, who chose to soldier on (in spite of being offered the option of not doing so). You know who you are, and you amaze me.
But we made it through the week, we IBMers and community and customers, and I’d like to thank some of those who made my week remarkable.
First, thanks to Gabriella Davis, who worked through the flu (or lurgi as my UK friends call it), to deliver her sessions without falling over on stage – although is was close…. And for providing the most enjoyable evening of the show again in the form of the Great Geek Challenge. The sponsors make it possible, but Gab’s vision created it and Abigail Roberts’ marketing skills helped it run smoothly. Also Gab, thank you for being my friend.
To Tim Clark – thank you for being and for surviving. And for the hugs. And for allowing me to meet your lovely wife and children on Friday.
To the remarkable Mr Graham Acres, one of my Best Practices track speakers, thank you for standing in front of a room full of mostly strangers at the Nerd Girl Sparks session and letting us peek into your heart and soul for 6 minutes. You are an amazing man and you moved us all. You’re also an incredible technical presenter.
Thank you to Chris Miller. I had enough trust in you to allow you to submit a total of ONE slide beyond the required ones for a one hour session, and that slide contained only a link. I believe I threatened you if you didn’t hit it out of the park. The tweets and verbal reviews show that the ball you hit was somewhere over Cuba by the 4th minute of the hour. Thank you for making me look good. To the other speakers and speaker hopefuls, IdoNotes has set the bar. Reach for it.
To Mat Newman – thank you for the energy and the spark everywhere you went. For the new slogan “Lead Blue and Bleed Yellow”, and for the hugs of course. Your presentations wowed the crowd as always and your recovery from a total computer meltdown during a demo-heavy session has made you a legend among your audience as well as your fellow speakers. Sleep well on the plane home – you didn’t sleep in Florida.
The reason I don’t normally write thank you posts is that I know I will forget somebody. Plus, to do it justice, the post would be days long, so in short – thank you to Joyce, Colleen, Paul, Bruce, Kristin, Mike, Warren, Kitty, Amy, Francie, Ed, the Bills, Volker, the Julians, Big Tony, Kathy, The Wookie, Marie, Duffbert, the Andys, Carl, Ben, Frank, Nate, Mary Beth, Maureen and all of the attendees who came to learn. Also everybody else whom I just left off this list.
And its NOT the end of Lotusphere. Before we were “Social”, we were a community. We still are. I love you one and all.