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If we build it ... will you come?

Auslug  March 1 2010 03:33:03 PM
There have been many comments over the years about the return to Australia of an event similar to "Lotus Fusion" from a few years ago.

While it's obvious that an event on the magnitude of Fusion may not be possible, both the Ireland and UK user groups have proven that successful community driven events can be staged locally.

Enter AusLUG 2010.


At this point we're just gathering ideas - and throwing some out there for comment.

Concept:


A two/three day event offering multiple tracks with both subject matter experts and users presenting sessions.

Suggested Tracks:
  • Track 1: Administrator,
  • Track 2: Developer,
  • Track 3: Show and Tell/Notes can do that
  • Track 4: Break-out sessions/Birds of a feather

If the tracks seem familiar, you're correct - they're based on the tried and true Lotusphere formula.

Track 1 and 2 are self-explanatory.  

The idea behind Track 3 is to include content aimed at ITC Managers and Power Users which will provide a better understanding of the capabilities of the Lotus Suite from a user perspective.  

Track 4 would allow break-out sessions of like-minded groups to come together and discuss their experience.

Ultimately, the number of submissions we receive for content will drive the duration of the event.  Including the "Show and Tell/Notes can do that" track is aimed at broadening the potential audience beyond just Administrators and Developers.

Event Dates:


August/September 2010 - adjacent to a weekend, so that an extended stay at discount rates could be negotiated with the conference location.

Event Extra's:


Hosting a 'welcome party', conducting a 'gala' dinner, or even visiting a theme park (which would suggest the Gold Coast) are great additions to the conference experience, but they add significantly to the cost of staging the event.  If we were to include these features in the program, would you be more likely to attend, or even bring your partner to the event (especially if we were able to negotiate discount rates for accommodation as suggested above)?

Full Schedule:


If we were to include everything and were able to source enough content, this is how I would see AusLUG 2010 unfolding:
Time: Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday
09:00 - 10:30 Opening Session Track Sessions Track Sessions
Break
11:00 - 12:30 Track Sessions Track Sessions Track Sessions
Lunch
1:30 - 3:00 Registration Track Sessions Track Sessions Closing Session
Break
3:30 - 5:00 Registration Track Sessions Track Sessions
Evening Welcome Reception Theme Park Gala Dinner




Running such a schedule would allow for 10 sessions aimed at Administrators, Developers and Users.  I don't think it would be too hard to come up with at least 10 sessions given the experts we have available within the Australian community.

Questions for comment:

1.        If we build it ... will you come?
2.        Which venue would you suggest (eg: Queensland to escape the southern winter for a few days, or the Australian Alps to get in a couple of days skiing)?
3.        Do you have a topic that you would like to see on the schedule?
4.        Would you consider the 'social' evening events Essential/Nice to have/Not necessary?

Thanks, we look forward to your feedback!





Comments

1Graham Dodge  03/01/2010 6:10:50 PM  Is Queensland worth the effort?

Australia need this kind of Lotus happening. I'd be interested in other people's opinion about the choice of location. Is the trek to Queensland worth the extra effort or should we hold it at a resort somewhere on the coast roughly midway between Sydney and Melbourne in the hope of attracting more attendees?

Either way, it's great to see this get started. I'm willing to assist getting this event organised.

2Stephen McDonagh  03/01/2010 10:35:20 PM  If we build it ... will you come?

Well done!

Great to see another LUG starting up :-) even if it one that might me hard for me to get to from Ireland

3Paul Mooney  03/01/2010 10:57:59 PM  If we build it ... will you come?

Brilliant - great news.

Now that is one LUG I would love to get to!

4Lisa Duke  03/02/2010 1:06:03 AM  If we build it ... will you come?

Good luck and let us know how it goes!

5Keith Brooks  03/02/2010 2:54:11 AM  If we build it ... will you come?

Sounds like a great event in the making. Not likely to get to it, and please schedule around MWlug which is aug 18-19.

You should do it and they will come.

6Warren Elsmore  03/02/2010 5:27:36 AM  If we build it ... will you come?

Sounds like a great idea to me! All I need is an excuse to get down under ;-)

and if we can be of any help at all, just ask!

7Tony Hollingsworth  03/02/2010 2:13:13 PM  If we build it ... will you come?

Great to see more Australian focus on the IBM Lotus communities. I've been experimenting with an end-user online community on Twitter, which you are welcome to follow if not already.

{ Link }

For those not on Twitter, it also RSS-feeds into a LinkedIn Group:

{ Link }

Look forward to more from AusLUG - and if I can be of any assistance don't hesitate to ask!

Cheers

Tony Hollingsworth

8Giulio Campobassi  03/04/2010 7:34:51 AM  If we build it ... will you come?

I think you should start from the basics, and your agenda seems to demonstrate that.

I would hesitate in going to Qld because it is far removed from the majority of sites currently amongst the capitals, which seem to be in Mel/Syd/Can and just adds to overall cost.

So, Sydney or Crowne Plaza Terrigal may be a more appropriate location without going too far. I went to a conference up there a few years ago and they seem to be able to support about 500 attendees. Costings will be tricky to.

If you have an educational event, would around $1500-$1800 be a reasonable cost for the 3 days to make it worth while ? And you'll need a range of knowledgeable and known people as presenters.

9Marty Buckley  03/07/2010 8:24:49 AM  Presenters - I will be there to present and coodinate content.

I can get content and present if needed

Outside of Sydney/Melb is much cheaper (like 20% of the cost). You would then have to factor travel from other places. But would generally be better closer to the main cities.

10Terry Boyd  03/09/2010 8:15:13 AM  Absolutely!!

There has been a serious lack of this type of event in our (Australian) community for far too long now. Fusion was a fantastic event that naturally increased BP motivation/momentum, and provided everyone with an in-depth look at emerging product improvements.

I think the choice of destination has to be made between Sydney & Melbourne. Perhaps gauge the attendance at the "Collective Intelligence" shows, and consider where the attendance is the highest (discounting the IBM attendee numbers, that is).

As you will see from my list of possible topics below, I believe "hands on" technical session to be far more valuable than those which aim to inform via slideware. Of course, this calls for a much larger venue, with alot more facilities (i.e. gonna cost alot more).

Some of the topics I would like to see covered include...

- XPages development (beginner/advanced)

- Notes/Domino Upgrade "Best Practices"

- Sametime deployment workshop

- Sametime "bot" development workshop

- Quickr deployment workshop

- Quickr customization development workshop

- WAS for the Domino Administrator (with a focus on deploying ST 8.5)

- "How To" workshops to demonstrate new features of 8.5

Finally, IMHO, I feel that the social evening is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to the success of such an event (so you'll know where to find me on the Wednesday night of any given Lotusphere!). But, that's just me.

I really hope this event gains traction and we can get it off the ground. I am more than happy to lend any assistance that I can to see that it does.

11Peter Presnell  03/21/2010 4:01:03 AM  If we build it ... will you come?

An excellent initiative and one I very much hope becomes accomplished. If I was still living in Australia I would have my hand up high to help make this the AWESOME event I think it could be. I offer the following suggestions for consideration.

Theme: Australia has a well established reputation for being a friendly country and a place that so many people keep telling me they want to visit. So I would try to make the AusLUG event informative but also a great fun/friendly event that members of the yellowverse around the globe WANT to attend. I know you don't have to twist Ed Brill's arm too far to accept a chance to visit Australia and I suspect there are many more prominent Notes people like him. Talk to Paul Mooney as ILUG presently has a reputation of being the fun LUG event. Also, add New Zealand as part of the event.

Venue: My suggestion would be the Gold Coast. It is the Aussie version of Orlando (ie. Lotusphere) offering similar weather, a major toursim venue, PLUS it has great beaches. It is also less than two hours travel from Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane and Brisbane offers a convenient entry point for international attendees. Pick a venue that encourage most people to stay on-site to help build the social interaction.

Timing: I would aim for July. That may be too soon for 2010 but it would place it mid-way between lotuspheres. In time AUSLUG may become a suitable site for IBM to make mid-year announcements between Lotuspheres and it also provides the ideal time to reflect on what has happened since the last LS and what will be coming at the next one. Coinciding with US (Northern hemisphere) Summer break may also provide the chance for more international guests (including speakers) to attend the event as part of an annual holiday (vacation).

Length: I would suggest 2 days duration might be a good place to start. That would allow people on a tight budget to attend the event with the need for just one night's accommodation. Schedule it for a Mon/Tue and just as with LotusSphere you can have other events on the Sunday in the lead-up. It provides option for AUSLUG to be part of a longer visit/break to the Gold Coast.

Making It an Event: As most attendees already know, presentations are just a small part of what makes Lotusphere great. Social events, IBM developer labs, vendor showcases, exam certifications, BOFs, UX labs, training classes etc provide more and more sound business reasons for people to attend. Try to funnel as many of the face to face Lotus-related opportunities into this event. e.g. Wed/Thu would be a great time to run an XPage training class for attendees. Virtual is cool but some things just need to be face-to-face.

Build the community and they will come. At the end of the day this is just an event. I would also focus on building and strengthening the AUSLUG community throughout the year. This will assist in planning the event and, I think, compel more people to get together to continue the virtual discussions that have been taking place.

12Steve Hooper  03/22/2010 3:28:33 PM  If we build it ... will you come?

This has been something that we have been pushing for years. Count us in, Dr Notes would love to assist in anyway possible.

13Aidan Cooper  03/02/2011 8:06:35 AM  If we build it ... will you come?

I'll add one vote to it being in Melbourne or Sydney, that seems to be where the bulk of developers are.

My focus would be on a good developer stream. Some excellent sessions came out of the US based LUG's last year so would be great to get them over here.

14okio luna  03/09/2011 1:15:22 PM  If we build it ... will you come?

This is awesome, I am looking forward for time and date.

I have been in Melbourne for the last 5 years and since 2009 nothing much happening in Lotus area, it has been lonely being a Lotus person. :)