Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Getting There - Flight to IQMS User Group Meeting

It was a very early morning, especially by Vegas time - out of bed at 1:00 am. In fact everything was early. The shuttle from Kitchener to the Toronto airport was 20 minutes early. We arrived and got boarding passes and were through customs with 90 minutes before the flight left. And the flight itself arrived in sunny Las Vegas a good 25 minutes early. The flight was without incident, check in was easy, getting settled in our respective rooms for the next few days went without a hitch, and now we're about ready to go over to the Hilton where the IQMS user group meeting will be held from Wednesday to Friday.

My colleague invited IQMS users to respond to a user group email indicating an interest in meeting with the three of us from Pano Cap Canada at Thursday's lunch right after the session on the Warehouse Management System. We got a great response - 20 people plan to get together to review implementation basics and guidelines, hardware woes and commendations, training, and so on. At the next user group meeting in 18 months, we will have to see about scheduling a user-hosted meeting after the lunch on the last day of the conference.

I'm excited about this conference for a variety of reasons. It will be our second visit to the user group meeting representing our company. That means we are more experienced and will know more about both the structure and content of the presentations, the staff from IQMS involved, the users themselves, and how to make a case for the enhancements we want. In addition, we are familiar with the strip in Vegas and the hotels/casinos where we're staying. We have a good sense of where to get decent food and are no longer intimidated by the Vegas "culture". Everything here is extremely expensive, however. We'll have to watch our expense accounts!

Since we arrived so early, there was a good part of the day still available to us. We went to the Las Vegas Hilton to check out the site of the conference and to eat at the famous Benihana Japanese Restaurant, only to find that it wouldn't open till later in the day. So, to pass time, we decided to do some walking.

There's one thing about Vegas that all walkers need to know. Although everything looks close both on the map and visually, it ain't so! We decided to visit Circus Circus, one of the hotels/casinos we hadn't seen last year. The place was a disappointment, but walking there, down the strip a little further, and then back again to the Hilton took a long time.

We got back to Benihana's early, but had a great time over the open grill with another group of 5 people and the entertaining Japanese chef. Great food, good company, but thoroughly exhausted by the end of the meal. We checked back into our rooms at the Stratosphere and I called it a night. After all, tomorrow is the conference.

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