It has been one week since I’ve returned from Tech Field Day – Virtualization Field Day 3 in San Jose from March 4-7. Just thinking about the event week has been a surreal and amazing experience for me. As you probably noticed by the #VFD3 hashtag in my Twitter timeline during that week, you will note that it was an exciting and busy time!
Virtual team, real friends
The real heart of what makes the Tech Field Day events so positive and popular is the level of knowledge in the delegates, the presenters, and the GestaltIT team who created this great program.
Every Tech Field Day event brings together a virtual team of delegates from all over the world and from all disciplines of technology. Many of the delegates meet in person for the very first time at the event although we may have engaged through social media in the past.
Throughout the intensive event schedule, we become a tight-knit family because we spend nearly every waking hour together for 4 days altogether. This is what makes it special.
In this short time I can truly say that I have made genuine friendships.
Quality of information beyond compare
We are given rare exposure to the teams at the presenting vendors which is a great opportunity to dive deeply into the inner workings of both the technology and the organizational plans of leading technology producers.
We get to go right into the proverbial belly of the beast. Each vendor hosts us at their facilities and opened their doors both physically and virtually to their engineering teams, and to the leaders in their organization.
It was like being in the greatest 400 level university course every hour of every day for three straight days. This was a phenomenal exposure to information and experts.
With the live streaming of the event, and twitter interaction with the community, we are able to act on behalf of the community to ask questions that we ourselves may not have thought of.
Andrea Mauro has done up a great post to show how much this event is a community event truly for the community: http://vinfrastructure.it/2014/03/tech-field-day-is-community-event-for-the-community/
We were able to be fully interactive with our audiences over Twitter and other social media so that we could effectively bring all of you right into the room with us to ask questions! Getting feedback and thanks from online participants was extra special because there are so many great folks out there who had excellent questions to bring to the table. That is part of the incredible value of community.
This is another of the differentiating factors of Tech Field Day and why I’ve been following the events for a long time. It is like an extension of the community events like the VMUG because we have more time to spend with the vendors and they provide access to design engineers and product specialists that may not be at remote VMUG style venues.
All work and no play isn’t the Tech Field Day way
Stephen, Tom, and Claire who are the Tech Field Day team who put this great event together, were also sure to bring us lots of opportunities to unwind. We work hard so that we can enjoy our play time as well 🙂
When asked these simple questions, I have quick answers:
Q: Was it busy and hard work? Yes
Q: Would you do it again? In a second!!!
This was truly a unique experience, and I couldn’t be more proud to have been selected as a delegate. Everyone I met and spent time with there was a great influence in so many ways and will continue to be great friends in the future.
As Stephen Foskett said while we were chatting:
People don’t always understand, but my Twitter friends ARE my real friends!
I absolutely agree.