On Tuesday, Rick Schummer and his wife Therese, Tamar Granor and her husband Marshal, and Rob Eisler, Chris Wolf, and I (Rob and Chris work for me) arrived in beautiful Phoenix to get ready for Southwest Fox. I love Phoenix in October: it's warm and sunny and makes me forget the 6 inches of snow that fell at home two days before we left.
The resort was as beautiful and nicely laid out as last year.
Here are some shots of us putting together conference binders and bags on Wednesday:
We ran into several attendees who arrived early, either because they were from far away (such as Tore Bleken from Norway) or because they were attending Rick Strahl's West Wind training (such as Peter Cortiel). It's always nice seeing familiar faces again.
Thursday things started cooking (and not just because it was 92F). There were four pre-conference sessions, presented by Menachem Bazian (returning as a VFP speaker after being away more than 10 years), Andy Kramek, and Cathy Pountney. Registration opened at 7:15 so we could get pre-con attendees registered before the sessions started. From the comments I heard, the sessions were well-received.
Attendees continued to arrive throughout the day. It's a lot of fun hanging out at the registration booth because you get to see old friends, meet new people, and finally put faces to names from the Universal Thread, Foxite, and other forums.
After a quick dinner, the keynote started at 7:00. I won't go over it here; you can watch it yourself at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/swfoxtv. Having streaming video available for the keynote was very cool, especially for those interested in seeing the demo of VFP Studio that Craig Boyd and Bo Durban presented (or should I say "performed", given the magic show they put on). Several people, including Steve Black and Cesar Chalom, watched it live but you can also watch the archived version. We'll definitely do it again next year. Here are some photos taken just before the keynote started:
After the keynote, we held a reception in the trade show area. From an exhibitor perspective, it was great: I did a lot of demos of Stonefield Query and was well on my way to getting my usual raspy conference voice by the time everyone cleared out.
Once again, a great start to the best (and only) VFP conference in North America.