Here's the fun email I received a while back
YOU’RE INVITED: Summer Slam VTUG (aka NEVMUG) and Lobstah Bake!
Hey All, I wanted to reach out to the VTUG community. As most of you know Summer Slam 2013 is fast approaching. It is a great event and in this day and age of training budgets being cut, it is an awesome opportunity to get smarter about what is going on in the industry, new technologies and solutions. We have an amazing line up of sponsors, breakouts, hands on labs and keynotes. As the industry's only virtualization neutral user group we are able to bring VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and other great companies to the table so that you can make the best informed decision when it comes to YOUR environment! Take the time out and register for Summer Slam just by clicking here! Copyright © 2013 VTUG, All rights reserved. You are receiving this e-mail because you attended a VTUG event in the past. Our mailing address is: VTUG 71 Stage Coach Lane Oxford, ME 04270 Add us to your address book unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences
to go along with their web site announcement here. What's a VTUG? Virtualization Technology User Group is like a VMware User Group, but for all the big and not so big companies in this growing universe of virtualization vendors. So yeah, not just a VMware focus.
Why would over a thousand IT Professionals drive a long way to congregate on a Thursday at a high school at 8am, in the middle of July? Well, the Freeport Maine area is rather nice. Then there’s the all-you-can-eat lobster bake after all day event. Finally, there's the considerable personal appeal to driving north when it’s hot. So very hot.
But what about professional appeal, for an IT Professional like myself, with extremely limited time for leisure and fun? Well, it’s really more about making new connections with people, who work for the companies you and your customers. Those companies you care about now, and into the future. And some hands-on training that was worth the trip up a day early for, the "Microsoft Virtualization for VMware Professionals IT Camp" by Microsoft's Symon Perriman.
When deciding to make the 4.5 hour drive up to Maine this year, I admit I was a bit unsure about whether the lobster bake after party would be a big differentiator from the local VMUGs I attend and present at. Well, it was. Having those extra hours to bump into new folks on the long line for as much lobster as you can eat really was a gift. I met a home automation guy, many Microsoft and VMware engineers, and numerous technical architects. Folks like me, who don't get out often enough. It's all good.
Don’t get me wrong, the keynotes are sometimes good, and even a bit entertaining. But the much smaller break-out sessions and booth visits are the real value, with those one-on-one visits to vendors doing demos in their booths. Yep, poking around the web from one’s home office after a long day of work just isn’t as likely to afford you those opportunities that arise when face-to-face with others who often share a similar work challenges in their lives. Yes, bringing home a stack of old-fashioned business cards is still useful.
Best of all, attending user groups such as the VMUGs or VTUGs or Hyper-V at VTUG tend to be free, all you need to do is sign-up and show-up!
Don't miss this short video interview I did with Chris Harney, who helped start this annual Maine tradition, 10 years ago! With over a thousand in attendance and growing, and more VTUGs to come, no matter where you live, you may want to keep an eye on vtug.com.
Paul Braren is an IT Professional, and has been enjoying hosting, attending, and presenting at computer user groups since 1993. Here's a few snapshots from Summer Slam 2013, enjoy!