[I would have posted this to https://www.sdn.sap.com/irj/sdn/weblogs but my account has been locked all morning. Yuk.]
PreConDay, or as I like to call it, Quality 9000
Travel day meant getting up around 4AM for a 7AM flight, which thankfully wasn't 100% filled. Because of a slight logistics error, I don't have the Leave No Trace water bottles I had intended to give out in my Wednesday Environment/Sustainability session, except one from my dues renewal. As a result, I was able to go fairly light, no checked bag.
Shuttle bus to airport, direct flight to Orlando, shuttle bus from airport to the Orange County Convention center. It was a circuitous route from the airport, as the 12 passenger van was full, and it probably just seemed we had 12 destinations. I started seeing familiar faces right away - Rob, Karin and Jim Malfetti had registered earlier and were sitting in the hallway.
After going through the check-in/registration process (even pre-registered meant 3 or 4 stops). This year's conference bag doubles as a shopping bag, which I'll throw in the back of my car to save $0.05 as well as a plastic bag on each grocery run.
Karin spotted Butch McNally heading up to the 2nd floor, where the pre-conference sessions were taking place. I stopped in to the Business Process Expert session, seeing Jon Reed, Marilyn Pratt, my colleague Manju Venkateseshan, as well as others I know less well. Then popped in to the Microsoft / SAP interoperability, where the room was packed. Besides the coordinator Butch McNally and speaker Jeff Duly, I met Ginger Gatling from SAP, and a couple others who will remain nameless (but the venting was contagious).
When I had reached my limit carrying the "light pack" around, I headed to my hotel to check in. That's where the title of the blog comes in; as I was walking up International Drive, I found the RediPediCab company riders on the sidewalk, slapping five with the owner Catherine Ojeda (who was ferrying an ASUG board member). Another driver told me the hotel I was headed for was the "Quality 9000" as there is also a "Quality 7200". He probably didn't get the ISO9000 reference. Several people complained about the hotel, but I seem to have a different standard of comfort.
The evening keynote was also an opportunity to half-listen (reading tweets from the folks on the other side of the big curtain), meeting and introducing people like Georg Fischer, Roland Wartenberg, Ken Campbell and the inimitable Sue Keohan.
Mark Finnern near the didgeridoo. The player himself.
Finally the day's required activities were complete, and we could do serious networking. Once again, my RediPediCab friends caught up with me and we chatted how IBM sponsored them, what grief they were getting from SAP security types, and general economic chatter. BITI ended the evening in several places, such as the Peabody, and the "Tommy Bahama's" restaurant. Small video uploaded.