About two weeks ago I went out to the west coast for the first Cloud Field Day. Now that I’m back I thought I’d do a quick writeup on how it went and thoughts on my first Field Day event. The summary is simply that the event was very good and the whole Field Day team does an amazing job. There is a lot that happens when they put on an event.
Josh Coen and I flew out on the same flight and arrived at SFO the evening before the first day. When we arrived there was a car there to take us to a dinner/reception for the delegates from Mobility Field Day that was wrapping up and Cloud Field Day that was just starting. It was a great opportunity to meet everyone and get to know each other, since we’d be spending a lot of time together over the next two days.
The next morning all of the delegates for CFD1 got together for breakfast. It has become a bit of a custom to do a gift swap the first morning. The idea is to bring something from your home town/country/state since delegates travel from all over the world. Anyone that knows me knows that I love coffee so I brought two bags of Counter Culture coffee from NC and a Contigo thermos that I really like. I went home with some really cool snacks and space/science patches from Canada. After breakfast and the swap Stephen Foskett and Tom Hollingsworth give you the run down on how things will go the next two days. Time is of the essence at the TFD events. One of the best things about these events is that the delegates travel to the vendor’s offices instead of them sitting in a hotel conference room all day. This gives you a really great insight in to the company’s culture and their people. The down side is you are hustling around all day with little time for setup, tear down, food, bathroom breaks, or anything else.
During the run down you are given a microphone that you keep with you at all times. When we get to a new office you setup your notebook, plug in your mic, and get ready to go. Usually the AV guys get there a few minutes before, but often they are doing setup and you stay out of their way while they get things going. Once everyone is set the presentations begin…. It’s odd being mic’d the whole time but you get used to it quickly. Just be careful not to try and say something to your neighbor! Once a presentation is done you pack up and do it all again. We only had 4 vendors for both days so it wasn’t as fast paced as others, but I was a bit thankful for that.
During downtime we recorded a couple of round table discussions on various topics that will come out soon. This was a lot of fun as we had a varied group of delegates with some interesting insights and perspectives. I probably enjoyed that at least as much as the actual presentations.
If you have the opportunity to be a delegate I highly recommend it. I’ve been wanting to do it for several years and am thankful I got the chance and hope that I get to do it again. Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing some posts about the different vendors and their offerings. These will appear on AHEAD’s blog and I will update the links below as they go live. During the two days we met with:
Look for those coming soon!