Once again, I must apologize for the how long it took to write this post.  A few weeks ago during the week of July 21 I traveled to California to give my “Introduction to Prism” talk to two user groups.  The first one being vNext OC User Group which was held on July 24th, and the second one being the Easy Bay .NET User Group which was held on July 26th.

This was actually my first time getting to walk the streets of the San Francisco bay area.  Normally I just fly in and out of SFO and that’s about as far as I get.  Well, at least I thought I would get to walk around the streets of the Bay area.  Seems I somehow made a mistake when booking my hotel and mistakenly mapped the location incorrectly and instead was staying in Freemont.  Oh well, luckily for me there is this thing called a BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and I just so happened to be staying not far from it.  So with a quick 45 minute train ride, I made it to Berkeley painlessly.  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realize how long it would take to get there, so I didn’t leave myself anytime to sight see.  Right when the BART arrived, I had to run down the corner to the Easy Bay UG meeting room in the Berkeley City College.

When I arrived, there was already a pre-presentation being given.  I caught the end of it, so I am not sure who the presenter was, but it seemed to be a talk about the presenters product.  After the pre-presentation, there was a quick 15 minute break.  I wish it was a little longer though to give attendees more time to socialize and recover from the “presentation drowse” that you get during a talk.  I have never really been a fan of a pre-presentation due to this side-effect.  It makes it difficult to get the audience reengaged for the primary presentation.

The meeting space was very nice and had plenty of room for everyone, but it was a classroom environment.  Which makes sense because it was in a college.  I have been to quite a few user groups, and it’s my opinion that the more formal the setting of the meeting space, the less social and interactive the meetings are.  I kind of got that feeling here.

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As you can see, you really only socialize with the immediate people in your chairs rotation.  That’s assuming you are inclined to socialize in the first place.  Most people would just stay at their seat and surf the web while waiting for the next session to start.

When I was about to start my session, I was worried that the “presentation drowse” had rooted itself deep into the group.  That is until I took the stage.  Then the group couldn’t hold back their excitement!  Just look at them jumping out of their seats to learn all about Prism.  No… I didn’t tell them all to look excited on the count of 3 while I took this photo.  What would give you that idea?  It was just a spontaneous moment of group excitement that happened to occur at the exact same time.

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The attendees were great.  They were involved and asked challenging questions.  I really enjoyed my time there and would like to thank the group for having me come and present at their meeting.  It was great meeting everyone and hope to present there again someday.  Next time, I will make sure I leave myself some time to actually see some sights.

Brian Lagunas

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