Today I had the pleasure of attending the Midwest VMware User Group Regional Conference in Kansas City. It was a fantastic get-together for the Iowa, Omaha, Kansas City, Missouri, Oklahoma City and Arkansas User Groups. I was manning a vendor table for my company at the event, so can't judge the quality of the presentations, but the attendance was outstanding. I believe I heard over 300 people were in attendance (not counting the vendors). We had a lot of traffic at our table, and it looked like most of the other vendors had similar experiences. I was surprised by the amount of conversation that was generated at our table, which told me people were genuinely interested in talking to the vendors. This is a bit of a change from VMWorld where it seems most people are mainly interested in jumping in a booth to grab the free goodies and avoid the people manning the booths.
The location worked very well for the format they chose for this conference. It was held at the Cerner RiverPort Facility in North Kansas City. It is a former casino and provided ample parking and plenty of room for the presentations, vendor area and some quiet areas perfect for one-on-one meetings.
The food was great (definitely better than VMWorld) without being fancy. Breakfast was light but had good variety, lunch was overly abundant and tasty, and the afternoon snack was a great mix of salty foods.
Having formerly lead the Omaha-Area VMUG, I can appreciate the effort it takes to arrange an event, but can only imagine the time it took to arrange this HUGE meeting. I'd like to give kudos and a great big "thank you" to the people who put this thing together. I hope to see it again year after year.