Last year after Collaborate 2014, I titled my blog, A Rainbow of Emotions, and that could easily have been the same this year.
The other blogs in this series talk about the great things at Collaborate, here I am having a little moan about the things that could be better. I have included all in my feedback because if you don't give feedback your user group can't improve.
This year I had 5 papers selected over OAUG and Quest, which in itself causes problems, you should only need 1 registration, but if as a speaker you get invited to a reception, you can only attend if you are registered with that user group. If you register with more than one you have to pay $200 because each hotel booking is linked to a specific user group and there is a levy if you don’t have a preferred hotel booking, or linked to the right group. It is good that you can attend sessions across all 3-user groups but there are still too many divisions.
The mobile app still had issues, I couldn't get it to sync my comments with my twitter account, I did report it to the App Desk, but it was an API issue unlikely to be resolved during the life of the event. I still wish we could have had private meetings that we were able to enter online in the mobile app, and finally I couldn't even have my own session in my agenda it had an error. But persevere Collaborate, mobile apps are wanted and appreciated.
This year Collaborate was back at the Mandalay Bay which is a the furthest end of Las Vegas but I did go down all the way to Fremont doing the tourist bit, but nothing I saw has changed my mind about Vegas. I don’t feel comfortable there. At the high end there are people who enjoy the shows and gamble responsibly, but there is also desperation, exploitation and misery.
Cloud or Fusion Apps are still a concern, it was fantastic to speak to so many users but there is still a lot of education needed. Remember not everyone has the luxury of hearing the message everyday. I spent time with the OAUG Japan contingent and they had lots of questions, but checked with the local Oracle office who have more information planned and there is an IOUC Asia meeting in Taipei soon.
The exhibition was very busy with lots of companies old and new represented. Some traditional companies were missing, it seems Collaborate has the same challenges as UKOUG.
These are the little things I mention, but the big things about Collaborate is the networking, the education, and the chance to meet old friends and make new ones. You can't fail to enjoy Collaborate, there is so much going on, and a final word, I think my feet have still to recover although my doctor would be proud of my daily step count!