If I had to draw a cartoon depicting last year's OpenForce event, it would be a group of people shaking each other’s hands, with a tag cloud floating overhead... the words ‘Great’ ‘To’ ‘Finally’ ‘Meet’ ‘You’ ‘In’ ‘Person’ all in big bold letters. And I would be - and was - one of those people shaking hands, making introductions. Like many others in the DotNetNuke community who had previously talked to so many others primarily via email, on the forums, or on IM, I was finally having the opportunity to put the faces to the names. And in some cases, the personalities to the faces.
Advice -- I would suggest that everybody in the OpenForce track at DevConnections get out to all of the speaker sessions they can attend. Come ready to learn some exciting things, come prepared with questions for the speakers, come eager to take notes and learn about this great framework -- but at the end of the day, be prepared to meet up, to network, and to socialize!
Last year, mingling around the DotNetNuke Corp. booth and having a chance to read all of the name tags on the OpenForce badges going by, I was able to spot many familiar people in the DotNetNuke community. It was a treat being able to walk up to someone and say “Nice to finally meet you… love reading the tutorials on your site,” or “You’re one of the most helpful people on the forums… great to meet you in person.” It was also interesting to sit in on sessions and see – beyond the blog pages and forum postings – how incredibly passionate the speakers are about DotNetNuke.
After the days’ speaker sessions had wrapped, and the expo halls had emptied, many of us in the OpenForce track would find our way to pubs or restaurants and get the discussions fired up. There was talk, of course, about DotNetNuke. There was talk about Open Source, Microsoft, and other business. I also found, at a certain point, that there was talk about other important things in life as well – family, shared interests and hobbies, the escapades some developers had made in LV the previous night, and profound questions like whether Criss Angel or David Blaine is more talented.
By the time I left Las Vegas, I had not only put many faces to names, but really gained a deeper insight into who many of these people were. Away from their obvious talents designing or developing with DotNetNuke, I realized we have some seriously fun, energetic, and humorous people in this community. Should be a blast again in ’08!
One of the people that you will be certain to meet in Las Vegas this year is Will Morgenweck, and his team from Active Modules Inc. Will has once again reserved a booth on the floor of the conference hall, and this year, he will be located directly across the aisle from DotNetNuke Corp’s booth. He will also be giving away copies of Active Social Suite w/ Subscription as well as Active Forums Enterprise – in total, 5 different prizes valued at approximately $1750! In a discussion with Will (below, the third in this series) he talked about OpenForce ’08 and the “social” aspect of the event. ~BW
"The best part of OpenForce '08 for Active Modules will be getting to meet more of our customers," says Will. "Of course being an exhibitor at OpenForce gives us the opportunity to gain new customers, but that really isn't the reason we are attending. OpenForce is a gathering of some of the most active and influential members of the DotNetNuke community. The opportunity to talk with customers and share with other community members over 3 days, in one location is worth so much more."
"You can't forget that you are in Las Vegas. Just because the sessions have ended for the day or the exhibition hall is closed, that doesn't mean your day is over. We had a really great time last year meeting up with other community members after hours for dinner, drinks and other Las Vegas activities."
"It doesn't matter whether you are a consultant, developer, designer, hosting provider or just getting starting with DotNetNuke, OpenForce Las Vegas will be an experience you don't want to miss." - Will Morgenweck is the President of Active Modules, Inc.