Well my first Blug is over and I have to say I am very impressed, Theo Heselmans is a genius and the fact that there was actual IBM backing, both in terms of people and in terms of money made a real difference, apparently Blug is now the largest lotus user group in the world.

The feel was very professional as well as relaxed, I made more contacts and had more serious conversations then even at Connect 2013 and shock of shock there were even times when I exchanged business cards with people when both of us REALLY wanted to rather than it being one sided or for politesses sake.

Both the food and drink for the event were amazing and seemed to be none time based (at Connect and other conferences its always “how much can we get down out throats within the time limit”)

The venue was awesome, the Faculty Club in Leuven

for some reason I have yet to grasp I did not take any pictures of the bleeding inside (face palm)

The first proper day of blug started with a apparently amazing keynote where notes 9 would be released, I say amazing because I was skulking in the speaker room as all my clients had noticed I was busy and so were having melt downs but even here Blug did us proud as the network was nice and fast even when Notes 9 was released and 200+ people pounded the hell out of the network.

I did have time in between sessions, client needs and hard core social interaction to not only have squint at the freebie bag, which unbelievably had some things in it I wanted to keep (this has not happened since the last Ilug) but also kept the bag its self (a note to all conference organisers, unless you are giving us a brand name back pack that’s better than our current one a book bag is the way to go as we can use it later),

The session I did with Martin Vereecken, Mark Leusink and Matt White went down very well with it filling the room

All credit to the amazing slide deck goes to Martin!

Talking of sessions all the content I saw was brill, absolutely no fillers or restrictions, which produced many near perfect sessions.

Lastly the town of Leuven was spellbinding

You will note that [Matt White]( and I skulked out of the conference to go fetch the gift of chocolate that is required of everybody who visits Belgium, by the end of the conference EVERYBODY had done this task.

Lessons other IBM conferences should learn

– Having a steady but not extreme flow of wine and beer in the sponsor area makes people come to it all the time and makes them more relaxed so they talk to the sponsors, no need to over do it so they get pissed but just grease the conversation wheels
– Sugar and caffeine on hand at all times give people energy and makes the more enthusiastic
– Allow ALL forms of content and presentation just make sure the quality is high.

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