For those of you following the blog you’ll know that over Memorial Day weekend I was in New Orleans at Jeff Middleton’s ITPro Conference. People always ask me “so what do you think of the experience” and I always say that it’s hard for me to judge. When I’ve been involved in planning and giving content to a conference, I always say “what do you think?”
So for those who were there I hope you take back to your user groups (of which many of you were from) and tell them how you thought it was. I think it was Schrag who said it best…. Well… let me put It this way I “think” it was Schrag who said this…. At this point in time with this little sleep it could have been someone else for all I remember… that when Jeff got up at the end of the conference and explained about how this “theme” of a conference, it really hit home of the vision he had. That it’s the small businesses that build the foundation for all the other large businesses that come along.
He purposely picked local businesses to organize events, to provide refreshments, to bring the flavor of New Orleans as well as showcase New Orleans. He used the watercolor artwork of a local artist (and forgive me I need to get the name of the artist) as a backdrop to the panelists. The images showcasing New Orleans and the merchant town it was and still is.
His conference regarding disaster planning and recovery was as much about Small Businesses and their will to succeed and thrive, as well as a showcase of Jeff’s passion about showcasing the Small Businesses of New Orleans. His conference painted the picture of New Orleans as the city back from disaster, still a few straggling hairs out of place here and there but still a city with character, still a city with pride, still a city of small businesses and a city that is back.
What struck me today as Eriq Neale, his wife and Schrag and I walked to get Beneights (I need to look up the spelling for the French Doughnuts) is that you can visually see “small business” in New Orleans in the mere architecture. First floor was always the business, second and third floor where the business owner lived.
I hope everyone took away one thing, or five things, or ten things of value. I know that I got way more than I gave. To the point where I’m seriously thinking of seeing if I can on the SBSMigration.com web site to see if I can “register” for the conference “again” so I can pay a fee to ensure that there is a Next Conference. As a speaker for several conferences, there are many a time that I ask myself “If I went to the conference as a participant, would I be willing to pay the fee”, and for this conference, the answer is “yes” and then some.
As we scatter to the four corners of the globe, I know that I want to see this communication continue. I’ll be in the forum (as soon as I reset my password as I can’t remember it and it’s not my normal series of “website” passwords (don’t tell Dana I reuse passwords, will ya). Some of the “deliverables” I’ll be putting in there is the links I talked about during the conference.
So thank you Mrs. Middleton, for having a son that showcased the value of family…the value of community… the value of small business… the magic of New Orleans.
As some would say the “PFM of New Orleans”.. . and you need to have been there to know what that one is
(photos to come)
Photo of one of the panels