This year the MWLUG conference was held at the Hilton Mark Center in Alexandria, VA. The theme for MWLUG 2017 was "Moving Collaboration Forward." There are numerous changes to the IBM Collaboration landscape and we wanted to cover these changes, but at the same time augment our normal ICS specific sessions with sessions focused on the greater landscape of collaboration. We had sessions on non-ICS specific topics like MongoDB, IoT, and Sharepoint.
MWLUG 2017 this year comprised of 60 sessions, workshops, and round tables. We had 232 registered attendees with 211 showing up making this the largest conference we had ever had. The conference covered IBM Bluemix, IBM Cloud, IBM Connections, IBM Notes/Domino, IBM Verse, Watson Workspace, IBM/Cisco Collaboration and Connections Pink.
The IBM Domino Application development round tables were most enlightening and dynamic to put it.
Our two Platinum sponsors, panagenda and Red Pill Now both had free workshops for the attendees. panagenda's workshop cover ApplicationInsights and Red Pill Now's workshop covered UI/UX Design.
Our social event was at the New District Brewing Company in Arlington, VA. If you left early, you would have misses one of the highlights of MWLUG 2017, the wager between Justin Hill of Prominic and Darren Duke of Simplified Technology Solutions. This wager helped raise almost $300.00 for our Community Outreach Program. The beneficiary this year was Hands on DC which help schools in the DC area. We raised a total of $1740.00 for this charity.
Thanks to our local organizer, Dave Navarre, we were fortunate to have Gale Garriott as our OSG Guest Speaker. Gale was Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery for 15 months. Gale was followed by Ed Brill and Warp Speed Sponsoring something that we borrowed from Theo and Engage.
This year attendees drank a staggering 59 gallons of coffee, 2 kegs of craft beer from two local breweries, over 300 pints of beer at the New District Brewing company, dried out the tap (of good beer) at the bar at the Hilton Mark Center twice.
It was great a conference and seeing everyone in person again. As our community seems to be changing and this might been the last time we would see some of them in person.
Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers and sponsors for making MWLUG 2017 possible. It is a community event and it is our community that keeps this going.
Unfortunately, this is the last of MWLUG conference. Next year there will be a new name that better reflects on how we see the industry going. The format will be different but the people will hopefully be the same and more. So for this new and tenth collaboration user group conference we are heading back to the Midwest region of the United States in Ann Arbor, Michigan. So hopefully we will see you next year in Ann Arbor !!!