Lots of questions about the Virtualization Deep Dive Day so here is the scoop. As some of you know, this event has been in the planning for many months. It is being run by an all volunteer organization (the local user group community). We tried to do a bit too much with the event. For starters we learned that many people could not attend this event due to vacation conflicts. We will avoid July and August for future large events like this. We tried a new format (3 seperate session tracks and 3 seperate disciplines) this was a monumental amount of work. Because of this some things kind of slipped through the cracks. I was scheduled to present 5 different sessions at this event and there were probably 10 other speakers presenting on as many as 3 or 4 different topics. In addition to this, we were coordinating with almost a dozen different user groups and over a dozen different sponsors. Well, we got lost in trying to manage all of it. We had no systems in place to keep us on track and we went off track. The Boston User Groups have put on many events including events much larger in terms of attendees but not nearly the complexity. We had tons of problems with registration of sponsors as well as attendees. With short notice, we had a couple speakers bail out on us and my personal schedule was changed on short notice so I was out of town for most of 6 weeks before the event. I only had about 6 days in town in that entire time and a chunk of that was several weeks ago. This greatly impacted my ability to do my part in “managing” the event. I had at least another 10-12 people helping me manage and execute the event but that in itself adds even more complexity. It become evident yesterday as I was reviewing everything last night on the plane ride back home that that this was not going to be an event that was up to the standard that we put on events (everyone walking away feeling like they got 10x their money’s worth out of the event). This includes speakers, sponsors and most importantly the attendees. So I recommended to the board (board members of the user groups) that we postpone the event. They agreed that we would be better serving all to just postpone the event to give time to get all the “stuff” fixed. We already have a board followup meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning (Aug 15th in place of the event) to figure out how we will get this train back on track and deliver a phenomenal event at a better time.
BTW, Notice I did not even blog about the event before it happened… That should tell you just how off track we were for the event. You will get plenty on my blog before the next event. My hope and expectation is that we can pull this off in the Boston area and then use it as a template to take to NH, NY, NJ, RI, CT, and maybe even all over the country!