Lotussphere 2010

So OK, I’ve already mentioned Lotusphere 2010 was the inspiration for this weblog so the logical first blog would of course be on….. Lotusphere 2010!

What can I tell you, my mind is still trying to find it’s way back to earth after being in the ‘cloud’ for a week. As a complete Lotusphere newbie I didn’t really know what to expect. Yes of course, I knew it was the greatest event out there when it comes to IBM’s Lotus brand, and that there would be a lot of people there ….. but even then it was a completely new experience to me. The great atmosphere, the excitment and the effect of being with so many people who think alike (yellow!).

I had discussed going to Lotusphere the year before as part of my educational plan. Still, with the recession going on, falling profits and the fact that I had the unexpected but great opportunity to be on a Redbook team for three weeks out in Boston in March, meant I didn’t really count on my company still allowing me to go.

Imagine my surprise, when late one night in November I received a confirmation email from IBM thanking me for entering a LS session proposal…. Wait a moment, I didn’t send anything??? ….. I wasn’t even aware I was going to Lotusphere, so I’m pretty sure I didn’t send in any session proposal? …… What is going on here?!?!?

The clue followed 5 minutes later in a message from my manager: “Ehhh,…. you might receive a message from IBM, don’t worry, I’ll explain tomorrow“. My dear collegue had send in a proposal for us to do a session on Document Management. A subject our company has been specializing in over the last few years and also the topic of the Redbook I worked on last March. Knowing I would never even think of proposing a session myself, he kind of ambushed me into it.
So, worried about the prospect of having to do a session at my first ever Lotusphere, but at the same time quite certain it would probably not be accepted anyway, the first thing that came to mind was: “I’m really going then!!“.

That was all that mathered! After 10 years working as a Lotus Notes, Domino, Document Management and Workflow Consultant I was finally going to Lotusphere. A dream I’d had for years but something that just never materialized due to costs, projects that intervened and employers that just didn’t see the necessity…… This time I was really going!

So, looking back, what was my biggest LS2010 moment?
No, not the session we did ourselves (yes, it did get accepted and it was a great experience!) and not the numerous interesting talks I had with people, or great sessions I followed. No, for me the best moment was walking up to that General opening session on Monday morning. Being swept up in the hallway in this enormous crowd of people all wearing the same Lotusphere badge and backpack, moving towards the big hall. Thousands of people full of anticipating and all with the same ideas and motivation……
Being a part of that crowd, that movement, that buzz: Feeling absolutely at home. That was my biggest LS2010 moment.  I will never forget this and whatever happens…. I’ve got the taste now, I’m definitely coming back next year!! 😉

ps. for those that are interested: Our session was called “BP304-Can a Sheep with Five Legs Win the Race?: Looking For the Right Document Management Alternative” slideshow