One more week of summer, then it’s conference time. I’m already getting invitations to register for user conferences. Line up of my travels below. If you will be at any, let’s see if we can meet up.

A year ago at this time, I was flat on my back in my garage waiting for the Rescue Squad. Refereed my first high school game of the year on Monday, taught Yoga on Tuesday and then on Wednesday as I was getting in the car, I stretched out to throw something on the seat and popped my quadricep muscle. Couldn’t walk for two weeks. Barely hobbling for Emerson Exchange (it was earlier last year). Wasn’t really ready to run until December. I reffed a game Monday, taught Yoga last night–and really, really watched myself this morning 😉

Getting ready for conference season, Andy at The ArchestrAnaut blog wrote Five Reasons to go to OpsManage (he’s a Wonderware integrator). Actually it was more. Here are highlights:

1) It’s a great place to hear about what’s new. Yes you can read about these things in the press releases afterwards but there’s something cool about being the first to hear about new features and new directions.

2) You’ll get a good sense of where the entire ship is headed.

3) The networking is great!  No, not the wireless networks… the people you geek!  Where else can you get the chance to sit down with product managers, company directors, big thinkers, and other interesting people.  What’s cool about this is that you don’t really have to do anything special to get these meetings. 

Aside from networking with Wonderware folks there is also the chance to chat up other customers and integrators.  I’ve made quite a few connections with people at the conference that I stay in touch with to this day.  It’s kinda neat to watch everyone grow through the years as we all get a little older and wiser.

4) The Opryland is an AMAZING place.  Unless you really want to, you literally won’t need to leave the property during your entire stay.

5) It’s not like it’s Vegas or something where you can get in trouble.

OK, I’m heading to Vegas, too, but you get the idea. There’s more at his blog. Check it out and see why going to conferences is a good thing.

Here’s my list so far:

Meanwhile, we’ll still get the monthly Automation World out with blogging, tweets, Plus and the rest. See you there.

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