It appeared that I was invited to speak at another user group conference within the yellow bubble: ISBG. This was held in Oslo, Norway, this year. They actually run this conference for several years now. I never travelled to Norway before so I was very pleased to get this chance to see new places and meet new people from our community.
About the conference
Some figures: about 30 speakers and sponsors showed about 80 attendees the latest about IBM Collaboration Solutions and other technologies beyond. We4IT was Platinum sponsor this year and so we also had a booth in the exhibition area. Our main goal was to introduce potential customers and partners to our solutions, especially Aveedo for which a new update will come out on May 27th. The two days were packed with sessions. The first half of the day was made as a single track, after lunch the sessions were split up into two tracks. It wasn't strickly separated into admin and development stuff, so there was a wide range of topics. I delivered a session on the second day: "XPages on IBM Bluemix - the Do's and Dont's".
About the venue
From what I was told this was the first time that the conference was held in Oslo. Oslo is the capital of Norway. It can be reached from other big cities in Europe very easily. The venue was the PwC buiding in the first row at the seaside of Oslo with a stunning view from the cantina where the evening dinner gala took place. We had a very delicious dinner with extraordinary entertainment by Rune Carlsen, which is the most entertaining magician that I've ever seen! It was a lot of fun.
The fun parts
Before the speed sponsoring started we were supposed to master the team challenge: there were 6 teams formed who had to solve puzzles. It all started with an audio broadcast in the auditorium which already contained hints for one of the tasks. Overall this took about 1 hour and was a lot of fun. We then headed back to the hotel for changing and then we met up again for dinner.
After the dinner IBM invited for some drinks in the Opera Hotel bar which was close to the venue. Actually everything was close to the venue, our hotel, was too. I was told that it is a tradition of this event that there was another "event" called "nachspel" which just means: "after play". This basically means: having additional drinks but in the hotel room of one of the organizers - which is a cozy situation if you image 20 people in a standard double room...
I made a Flickr album of the two conference days: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132362754@N04/albums/72157668070483160
I think this is very cuddly conference, the people up in the north are very friendly, though a bit shy in the beginning. After you break the ice everything is fine though. From a business point of view: it occurs that ICS products are highly used and still very popular, so you want to think about joining these folks if you haven't already. Keep in mind that this seems to be the most expensive country in the world. I enjoyed a local IPA beer - it was 120 NOK (13 Euros !!!)
Thanks to Roger, Vanni, Wencke and the whole team for your hospitality!
On Wednesday, the day off after the event while I was killing some time until my flight back home, I did some sightseeing in this interesting and wonderful city of Oslo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132362754@N04/albums/72157666373731774