My alarm clock was set for 4.30am, taxi booked for 5.00am. It's so good travelling with no baggage. I was a bit worried as I had decided to take 2 laptops with me as at my last talk we just couldn't get my everyday laptop to connect to the projector. Living not to far from the airport has its perks, I was at the airport in 10 minutes through security in 5 minutes waiting at the gate 1 hour early. Flight was not leaving until 6.30am, after window shopping I decided to look at the departures and it was displaying "gate closed". My heart started racing luckily it was an error and eventually the gate opened and the flight left on time. With a flight time of 55 minutes, it was quicker for me to get to Ireland then getting to Birmingham :). Once we had landed it was a bit of a walk to exit and straight into the air-coach. I was at the conference venue in 20 minutes, the coach dropped me at the doors of the venue.
I grabbed a coffee and decided to look at the agenda, found my slot then decided to look at the other talks that were happening at the same time . I have to say looking at the agenda, they had some great speakers ;).
I bumped into Brendan Tierney after picking up my badge who handed me a Oracle Ace Ribbon, Nice touch :). During lunch all the Oracle Aces had a group photo, I have not seen it yet on any social media, might have to give a chase. My talk had a good turnout and I actually ran out of time. As I was going through the presentation, questions were raised and we deep dived in certain areas. This is what I like about conferences when the users and speakers engage and explore the different issues everyone were having. I also visited the showcase, various freebies and raffles were being displayed by the different vendors. As we use dell products at work, I ended up having a good talk with them. I was asked to leave my details for a raffle draw as they were giving away a tablet. There were other vendors who were offering other items as well, great way I suppose for vendors to attract to new customers. I just stapled my business card to a piece of paper and left it that. Enjoyed going to the various talks by Kamil Stawiarski,Tim Hall,Oren Nakadimon and Debra Lilley. As the day approached the end, we all went to the networking event, over a few drinks it was great talking with Martin Widlake about how people cancel last minute once they have registered for talks at user group events and Jonathan Lewis gave me a great idea (I am going to find bottles of wine from the years my children were born and when they reach 18, I shall open them). Most of the vendors had packed up and gone. As the last call for drinks was being announced, Dell did the raffle draw that I had completely forgot about. I WON, I never win!, I was just speaking to the ukoug staff and she was asking me, did I enter, and I was like "yes, but I never win". It was the ace dinner night but unfortunately I had to get my flight back so could not attend. I have to plan the next one better and will definitely be staying the night next time. I have to say if you have not done the Ireland conference, you have to do it. I really enjoyed it. Flights were only 35.01£ return including the aircoach to the venue. It's a no brainer.! Ireland see you 2017 🙂