The 1960’s returned, for a few days at least, during the Common Conference and meeting and 50th anniversary celebration in Orlando. If you didn’t attend, you missed a great conference. I’d say this: If you didn’t attend for economic reasons I can understand, but the investment for me was worth every penny. If you didn’t attend because you thought Common’s best years were behind it, then you missed an opportunity to experience some of it’s former glory. It was a vibrant and fun week.
That is not to say everything was perfect. The austerity measures taken by the board last year did impact the evening activities, particularly the “Ask the experts” night and the “fun and games” night. Without substantial food and at least subsidized alcohol (the staple of the IBM i user) the events were poorly attended. I *can* tell you that the Common staff did their very best to provide as much as the budget allowed but when some budgets were cut completely (like the CaN budget that provided those evening activities) there is only so much you can do. My hope is that next year the CaN budget will receive some attention so that the “community” activities aren’t shortchanged.
The BEST part of the conference were the great, well attended sessions. Although the conference was smaller in the number of sessions offered, it still felt “large” because the facilities were “right sized” for the event. Overall I’d give the conference a B+ grade.
It will be interesting to see how the San Antonio event turns out. It is structured much differently in terms of speaker/volunteer compensation and size. If successful, it could point the way back to the restoration of some of the benefits cut last year (we hope!).
If you missed the Common Conference then you really MISSED a great conference. Make sure you register and get in on the fun in Minneapolis next spring!