Sunday 18th March 2012.... GPUG DayOne 2012 and the Convergence Reception.
The day started with Jennifer and I having breakfast with Mariano Gomez, Ted Mauldin (Mariano's partner) and Lorrie Hendrickson (an IntellPartners customer).
After breakfast Mariano and I went over to the Hilton Ballroom B rooms to do some further preparation on our sessions, we made sure that the GPUG session for later in the day was ready and ran through some of the Support Debugging Tool session materials.
Mariano and David taking a photo opportunity while doing the Tech Check
Our session preparation was then interrupted as the GPUG team held a speakers meeting to discuss how the GPUG Introduction session will be run. As it was not possible to have all of the GPUG attendees in a single room, the GPUG Introduction would be presented by different people in the six breakout rooms.
GPUG Team speakers meeting
For the GPUG Introduction session prior to our presentation we had Pam Misialek. Pam took us through all the benefits that GPUG (Great Plains User Group) offers and how best to make the most from Convergence 2012.
Knowing how much Pam loves photos of her while she is speaking... here is another one.
Pam Misialek waving at the audience (asking for a show of hands)
After Pam's introduction, Mariano and I presented our first session of the Conference: UBGP18 Where do the Experts Turn for Answers. This is a great session that demonstrates the wealth of information available online for users of Microsoft Dynamics GP. The session went well and hopefully everyone left knowing at least a little bit more.
I had lunch with my long time friend Constance Quigley, and then caught up with Mariano to go over to the Convention centre to the Speaker Room to complete the speaker registration formalities. In the Speaker Room we met up with Ace Martin and Tracy Stenhjem. Ace and Tracy are the team that make sure that the conference has speakers and that the speakers have everything they need. They are the unsung heroes of Convergence. Thanks guys.
Ace Martin, me and Tracy Stenhjem
After registration we rushed back to the Hilton for the last GPUG session timeslot of the day. Mariano and I sat in on Andy Snook's and Jeff McDowell's (both from FastPath) session on Security Best Practices for Microsoft Dynamics GP (UBGP13). Andy and Jeff were kind enough to plug the use of the Support Debugging Toolas well as the sessions that Mariano and I would be presenting over the next few days. Then GPUG DayOne was over for another year .... and the Convergence Reception party was about to begin.
The Convergence Reception was held in the Minute Maid Park which is the home of the Astros baseball team. It was a short walk from the hotel, down past the Convention Centre.
David and Jennifer at the Minute Maid Park - Home of the Astros
After arriving Jennifer and I went in search of food. While there was lots of food available from stalls around the concourse, most of it was not safe for me to eat. I have an intolerance to Mono Sodium Glutamate and related flavour enhancers. After chatting with the very helpful chef we decided that there was not much that would be safe to eat and so I made do with pretzels and plain popcorn.
On the plus side, walking around the stadium allowed us to catch up with many friends. First we met Geoff Harding (from Wennsoft). Geoff used to work with me in Perth, Western Australia in the days before Microsoft and before Winthrop, in a company called Sequel Technology. While I get to see Geoff at conferences every few years, Jennifer had not seen him since his wedding in Perth in 2003.
Geoff and Jennifer catching up and talking Austraylian
So while the crowds listened to Daughtry, Jennifer and I continued walking around and meeting up with friends.
Crowds watching Daughtry
We caught up with the Rockton Software team and then with Leslie Vail (wearing her famous pink cowboy hat and pink GPUG cape) and Sheila Jefferson-Ross.
Mark, Kelli and the rest of the Rockton Software team
Leslie, Jennifer and Sheila
So Mark being Mark and Leslie being Leslie.... it had to happen.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it an elephant? .... No, it's Super Mark
As the party came to an end and we were walking towards the exits, I met up with the only other colleague from my team in Australia who was attending Convergence. This was the first of the two times I actually saw George at the conference.
Then it was time to walk back to the hotel and go to sleep (after a quick snack at the hotel Cafe).
PS: Hey Geoff, hope you like the 600ml jar of Kraft Vegemite I smuggled into the USA for you.
Yes, how can you do anything but love Vegemite? Thanks again and great to see both you and Jennifer.
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