Wednesday 11 June 2014

Conference Planning & AGM

Wow, just into June and we have had Agenda Planning Day for our two UKOUG flagship conferences already.

Last Friday it appeared that UKOUG had taken over the Oracle London City Offices as both Apps and Tech committees met to go through the pre judged papers are create two very special agendas.

I was a little sad, this day clashed with OUGF conference which this year was held in a Finnish forest, and I wanted to be there, but UKOUG is my user group and that is where my commitment lies, and anyway I love this day, the buzz and excitement.

I write about this most years but it still amazes me how you start the day with hundreds of slips of paper and a blank agenda grid and finish with an agenda that looks amazing but so many really good papers still get turned down, not rejected, simply not enough room for them.

This year we have just as many streams for each event but are adding virtual streams, or additional tracks covering Social, Mobile and Cloud that are actually specially selected sessions from traditional streams building an alternative interest approach to the amazing content. (For those clever people who are wondering what happened to Analytics, we have several dedicated streams, this is mainstream).

photo from UKOUG
The UKOUG office have already shared the story of how the day went so I wont repeat it all but I will say it is a very busy but fun day. In Apps we had a new volunteer John Barnes from DSP who really pulled his sleeves up and got involved, a new look at what we do is very important to stay fresh. A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers who took part and especially Marisa who kept us all in order.

So we have most of the agendas now but there is lots of checking to do before people are advised, and in Apps I want the individual SIG leaders to look over the agenda and check it delivers what their communities want.

I said a few weeks ago how much I was looking forward to being in Liverpool for this year's Conference and Exhibition, and seeing the first draft of the agenda adds to that.

After we finished UKOUG held its AGM and for the first time it was available as a webcast so others could dial in. Our President David Warburton-Broadhurst spoke, along with Fiona Martin who gave the review of 2013 and look forward to 2014. David Rowntree went through the accounts and then our latest board member, James Haslam hosted the board Q&A.

Then it was off to the pub for volunteer drinks and a great chance to catch up with friends, old and new.

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