Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting with and giving a presentation to the Queen City DotNetNuke User Group (QCDUG) in Charlotte, North Carolina. Clint Patterson had been asking me to visit the user group for the better part of a year now, so I decided to finally make that a reality. Last Thursday, I joined many others in attending their meeting – but I also had a presentation to give…
The Presentation Idea
It took a while to come up with a presentation idea. I’ve done many types of presentations about DotNetNuke, but they all tended to be at least slightly technical. The QCDUG has a wide variety of attendees though, so I needed to mix it up this time. I conferred with Clint Patterson to come up with some ideas and he had a genius one… How about a presentation about DNN resources? Bingo! I hadn’t seen such a presentation, and I rarely see such a presentation given. The wheels were moving, and the presentation soon began to take shape.
After some inspiration from Garr Reynolds, DotNetNuke: Be Like Bamboo was born and later presented at QCDUG. Sorry to Clint and Chris Paterra who both spent valuable time helping me with a presentation title before that epiphany. :)
I had completely planned on taking public transportation while there. After all, I didn’t have many places to go, and I’ve been pretty successful at doing this since joining DNN Corp last year. I even did this at Day of DotNetNuke in Orlando, my ODUG visit, and my Dallas DNN visit this year. Nearly every time, it was surprisingly convenient and cost less. (That requires planning, but it’s true.)
This time, however, Clint was not going to let me go anywhere without having an escort. He was an incredible host the entire time I was in Charlotte. In fact, he sent me a message (and tweeted it) as soon as I landed, letting me know he was already waiting for me at the airport! That night, we even took a tour of Charlotte. It’s really a beautiful place.
I knew even before I scheduled the trip that this user group visit would be a good one. If you see Clint on twitter (@CBPSC), you already have an idea of the energy to expect at the user group meetings. The QCDUG did not disappoint! It reminded me of the earlier days of the ODUG. That kind of energy is infectious, spreading DNN love all over and leaving a lasting impression on anyone that shows up.
Earlier in the day we had requests to broadcast the meeting for those that don’t live in the area. In true “make it happen” fashion, Clint had a Google Plus Hangout planned for the meeting. Attendees all agreed that the hangout was incredibly valuable to have, and it had great quality.
Note above that Robb Bryn (@RobbBryn) couldn’t make the user group meeting and attended on the side of the road from his truck. That’s “super fan” material right there!
Mike DiRenzo presented a LINQ topic before me. He definitely has a passion for LINQ that I haven’t witnessed before. So much so, that it seeped into the audience. They couldn’t help but ask a ton of questions. Luckily, this didn’t really push our timeline a whole lot.
I delivered a presentation that aimed to do a few things. First, I wanted everyone that attended to feel more confident than ever before in their ability to at least know where to look for any DotNetNuke answer that they needed. Second, I wanted them to be more informed on how much resources there were, allowing them to feel more self-sufficient. Lastly, I wanted everyone to feel that they could and should participate in the DNN community. Hopefully, all of these goals were apparent in my presentation.
The presentation took about an hour, and while the questions were not coming at first, the crowd finally opened up and began asking numerous questions. I love it when the audience engages with me. It shows that things are resonating with them.
Besides plenty of swag, I also brought along a handout for everyone to use as a cheat sheet so that they didn’t have to rely on their notes or worry that they missed something. Bonus!
Here are some of the resources that you might be looking for if you attended the presentation.
FYI… Slideshare doesn’t do a perfect job of converting slide decks. The fonts and animations in the slide deck below aren’t as they were during the presentation.
Overall, this visit was an incredibly valuable visit that I would do again. If you are a speaker, I would highly suggest that you give them a visit as well. They are a very warm and engaging crowd, and the group is growing every month. While I had high hopes of beating their highest in-person attendee record set by Will Morgenweck earlier in the year, we got very close and instead set some other records. Jeff Smith (@xfernal) traveled over 3 hours to attend. (Robb Bryn had planned a similar trip before a meeting ran too long.) We had virtual attendees from as far away as Egypt, Canada, and the Netherlands. There were 32 people in attendance, including the virtual attendees!
Oh, and I also had the distinct honor of finally meeting the woman behind the DNN Logo Cake, affectionately known as the “DNN Cake Lady.”
As you can see… This was an overwhelming success of a trip!
This blog entry is cross-posted from my personal blog.