Questionmark Users Conference Day 3

The conference is now over! Today’s half-day included three encore sessions from the previous two days, and the closing session, “The Road Ahead”. Some news on the next version of Perception was shared, and lots of feedback was gathered using these nifty little electronic voting devices.

It was a lot of fun for me to meet my colleagues face-to-face, many of whom I have only spoken to via email. More importantly though, I got to meet and talk with customers – the people who actually use the software I help to create. Getting their feedback was really great!

If I met you at the conference and you’ve stumbled across this post, please feel free to get in touch! I’d love to catch up.

I’ve got one meeting left today and then I have some time to explore San Antonio before I head to the airport tonight. I probably won’t venture too far, but the weather looks great for wandering. Actually, I’m sitting outside writing this!

Questionmark Users Conference Day 2

questionmark I think today went more smoothly for me than yesterday, probably because I felt a little more comfortable having met a bunch of people. I still learned quite a bit too, so I am feeling pretty good about the trip as a whole. I think it was a worthwhile experience for me.

Sessions I attended today included an overview of our reporting options, a session exploring the ways to integrate Perception with other projects, and a couple of Q & A sessions. Again I was struck by the high level of knowledge that some customers have.

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference, but it’s really only a half day. The big news will be an announcement about the next version of our software, so that’s exciting!

Drinks with epodcaster! Wes, Greg, and Mack

After the conference ended today I had the pleasure of meeting up with Jennifer Navarrete and her family. Jennifer is a fellow podcaster, and we’ve been Twitter buddies for quite a while (she’s epodcaster). When she saw my status updates about being in San Antonio, she asked to meet up, and I’m glad she did! It’s always great to meet people in real life 🙂

Tonight’s conference event was pretty cool – they got us all into buses and took us to a place called Sunset Station. They handed out drinks as we walked in! There were nacho and fajita bars inside, and they eventually expanded into a dance room for line dancing and the like. Music wasn’t too loud either, so it was great to walk around and chat with people.

I don’t leave San Antonio until tomorrow evening, so I plan to do a bit of exploring/shopping in the afternoon. Should be fun!

Questionmark Users Conference Day 1

questionmarkToday was the first official day of the conference, and it was really interesting. The hotel we’re at (Westin Riverwalk) is a great venue because all of the meeting rooms are on the same level. We started out with a “birds of a feather” breakfast, followed by the conference kickoff and general session. Our CEO, Eric Shepherd, shared a number of company highlights. Notably, Questionmark turns 20 this year!

The rest of the day were breakout sessions. I attended a “Training with the Techs” session to learn more about assessment authoring with our Windows tool, a Product Central session to hear from customers about how we can improve our product interfaces, and another training session on reporting. I learned quite a bit at each one, not only from the Questionmark staff who were presenting, but from customers too. Some customers have an incredible amount of product knowledge, they truly are experts.

This evening was the “Dine Around” event. We broke into groups and ventured out on a photo scavenger hunt! Each group also had a reservation at a particular restaurant along the river walk. It was lots of fun! I can’t wait to see the slideshow tomorrow morning.

I’ve started uploading some photos to this photoset, but it’s slow-going. The upload speeds for the Internet here aren’t very good.

En Route to San Antonio

I’m traveling to San Antonio today for the 2008 Questionmark Users Conference, taking place through Wednesday at the Westin Riverwalk. I didn’t find out I would be attending until late this week, so the flight options were pretty limited. I was scheduled to leave Edmonton this morning at 6 AM.

I left my house a little later than I wanted to, meaning I didn’t get to the airport until just before 5 AM. That would normally have been okay (though cutting it close), except that the self-service check-in machines were all down. So I got in the incredibly long line and started to wait. I gave up on that after about ten minutes, jumped into the first class/business line, and pleaded my case.

The service agent was really helpful, and she helped rebook me on a later flight. Frankly I was fairly surprised at how busy the airport was so early on a Sunday morning. Anyway, I’m in Denver now, on a long layover. I should arrive into San Antonio tonight at around 6:30 CDT.

The great thing about the Denver International Airport is that they have free, ad-supported wireless Internet – something I wish we had in Edmonton. I’ve been using it for a while now, and it seems pretty quick. Uploads are really fast actually, faster than my connection at home, at least to Flickr! I uploaded a bunch of pictures from Megan’s birthday celebration last night. Happy Birthday Megan 🙂

More later!