GPUG Summit 2016 – Day 1

Continuing on from my first two posts, Pre-Conference and Keynote Day, this post covers the highlights of my Wednesday.

This was the first day where there was an organized breakfast, and it was at Amalie Arena today where the opening Dynamics GP (GPUG) session was held. I’ll be honest and say I was disappointed with breakfast. It was boxed packages with yogurt, a granola bar and a juice plus a breakfast sandwich and coffee. Not my thing. There was nothing to drink other than coffee, not even water, which seemed like a strange oversight. I suppose there was OJ in the box but still… I ended up eating a couple of bites of my breakfast and left the arena to go to Starbucks to get some tea, and came back for the keynote.

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GPUG Summit 2016 – Keynote Day

Technically, I don’t think today ‘s schedule was considered to be the first day but the keynote was this afternoon, so with this re-write, I am now just calling it Keynote Day. Confused? Yes it was a little but I’m assuming the rest of the conference is now Days 1 to 3. I give up labelling days since I goofed once already! 🙂

For the morning, it was a quiet start to the day. It was a nice day, as it has been every day in Tampa, but today there was a nice breeze to keep it cooler than it was the previous couple of days. So, I walked to the convention centre area and funnily enough, I arrived at the front of the convention centre at the exact moment that Tim Wappat was standing there waiting for his shuttle to the hotel. I hadn’t met Tim yet although we have chatted quite a bit on Twitter, so I was looking forward to meeting him! We chatted for a bit until his shuttle bus arrived and then went our separate ways.
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GPUG Summit 2016 – Pre-Conference

For the first time, I’m attending the Dynamics Communities’ User Group Summits, or as Dynamics GP customers know it, GPUG Summit in this case. I have heard the attendance is somewhere between 6,500 and 7,000 people overall, which is astounding! It’s also the 10th anniversary so it’s a great one to be at for my first one.

This year’s conference is in Tampa, Florida. I booked into the conference late and as such, I couldn’t get a hotel room near the event. I ended up booking with AirBnB, and got a great place to stay for much less than I would have paid in hotel costs, plus a 15% discount if I stayed for a full week. So, I decided to book a full week; I came into town on Saturday and leave next Saturday. I am paying the equivalent of about $120 per night USD, which is at least half of the hotel room rates near the Convention Center. Between that and completely scoring on my flight (first class both directions, total $600 CAD!), saving on those costs goes a long way in making this trip affordable.
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Becoming a Microsoft MVP for the first time

So, yesterday I found out that I was awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for my contributions over the last year in the Microsoft Dynamics GP community. Yay! I must say, the entire day was a whirlwind of emotions, varying from “holy cow” (yes, I used a different word there!), to “oh my god, what now?”, to “woohoo I’m an MVP!”, to “Am I really deserving of this?” etc. Well, you get the idea. Excitement, happiness, anxiousness, nervousness, doubt, all of those came and went throughout the day!
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reImagine 2016 – Recap

Travel update: made it home safely. Flight delay again leaving Fargo, no delay on MSP flight to Toronto, fairly straight forward 1.25 hour drive home from YYZ. Odd drive home in that I passed a tractor-trailer on fire (still driving) with a fire engine truck following it, going the other way on Hwy 401 and then as I was around the corner from home, there was a house fire. Two things you don’t see every day, in the same day.
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