Whilst we all embark on this magical journey called “COLLABORATE”, keep in the back of your mind what this conference is all about. JFK said it, and my take on that is:
Ask not what your conference can do for you, but what you can do for your conference.
This event is driven by volunteers, 100% in their spare time, logging hundreds of hours altogether to make your experience as education-centric as possible. I started working conferences in the early 1990’s and have spent many years enjoying the fruits of my labor. It is a powerful way to spend your volunteer time-working alongside others with the single goal of making the event as worthwhile for the attendees as possible.
If there is anything about the show that needs fixing, fix it! Feedback is the life blood of user group events, and participation in the delivery of an event is the best way to fix something that may have ticked you off about this and any other event. Apply for the conference committee when the call goes out. As you fill out your session/conference evaluations, ensure you keep in the loop and find out how you can become a volunteer.
I am not going to claim that COLLABORATE12 will be the biggest and best yet! I find that (in my opinion) belittles the successes of the past. They all are/all have been/will be the best. Each show stands on its own as a solid offering of top-notch education in its day. COLLABORATE is about content not glitz, and networking not marketing. See you in Vegas. As per that now famous saying about that town: “What you learn in Vegas does NOT stay in Vegas”. Or something like that :).