I am surprised to be saying this, to have said it this week, but…this was my best Lotusphere ever. Before you start arguing and telling me what things you felt weren’t the best, I will say, this was *MY* best Lotusphere.
Honorable mention: my first Lotusphere in 2008. I went by myself and didn’t know a soul there. I didn’t know about Planet Lotus or who any of the speakers or attendees were. It could never be the best as I barely spoke to anyone, but I saw speakers like Paul Mooney and Bill Buchan doing Worst Practices, and Julian Robichaux and Rob McDonough looking like pirates (they were pirates, right? I just remember facial hair) and presenting on charts. I met Marie Scott and Joni and ??, who were kind enough to let me hang out with them when I felt completely out of place.
Runner-up: My third Lotusphere (2010) is definitely in contention for my best Lotusphere. It was my first Lotusphere as a speaker. It was my first conference of any kind as a speaker. (And here was my blog post wrap up for THAT Lotusphere, http://www.runningnotes.net/index.php/2010/01/25/lotusphere-2010-%e2%80%93-the-surreal-year/) I met Tom Duff the day before I presented with him. How could that not be at the top of my list?
But the winner is 2015. Yes, I know, technically, it was IBM ConnectED and not Lotusphere, but let’s face it, it was Lotusphere. So why was it my best? Amusingly, it was how I connected with people. “A new way to engage”, indeed. Although, it wasn’t better because of social business, it was better because I made a promise to myself to talk to more people. I wanted to reach out beyond the circle of people I knew and meet (and talk and connect) to new people. I did just that.
A side note: I was informed before the conference this year that my “resting b!tch face” is pretty strong. aka when I’m just sitting around thinking about nothing in particular, I look like I am angry or focused, so people tend to think they shouldn’t bother me. Even friends have said they wouldn’t approach me when I’ve got that face on. As a result, I tweeted that people should still say hi, AND I went out of my way to try and make eye contact with people and even (GASP) smile.
I got to talk to so many wonderful people this year. Of course, all my friends that I’ve seen year after year, but also new people that I’d only just met. I thank everyone for taking the time to talk to me. I feel like we really did truly connect (pardon the pun). I had wonderful conversations, loads of laughs, and never enough hugs.
Whatever the future may bring, in terms of conferences, or LUGs, or vacations, I hope to see you all again. Correction, I hope to connect with you all sometime soon.