The old cliche goes that you can't teach an old dog new tricks...well as I gently arrive at my 6th decade here on planet earth, I am trying to dispel the notion that the more geriatric among us can't adapt to our new surrounds. So here I am in my first blog after finally learning just a few months ago how to text message...yeah, believe it or not I didn't know how to text until a friend shared the secret. Gee, by next year, I might be able to roll over and fetch.
I wanted to let you all know that HEUG On-line has added a number of Web 2.0 features that will allow for social/professional networking and will alter the way that many of us communicate. All of the features of HEUG On-line that we have so valued for years will remain in place but for those who are used to social networking and for those of us willing to learn, HEUG On-line will just become an even more valued community.
I did want to give you some updates on Alliance 09. You are all probably aware that, nationally, conferences are hurting; some even being cancelled for lack of attendance or at least having their programs seriously diminished. Not your's. Alliance 09 has faced some issues given the economic impacts on our institutions. Our members are dealing with problems involving lack of funding and actual restrictions on any travel. We are anticipating that Alliance will see a dropoff from the record level attendance we had last year. In all probability our attendance will be off by about 25 - 30 %. We will miss those who cannot attend and take advantage of all the conference has to offer. And it has much to offer. The good news is that the program is intact; the tracks are full with over 400 sessions. Our vendor/exhibitors have stepped up to the plate and we will probably exceed our exhibitor participation from last year. Oracle remains highly supportive of the entire program, the PAG Summit, the sessions and its exhibit floor presence. The conference team has been extraordinary in their ability to not only maintain but to add new flavors to the conference. If you have never been involved in the planning and execution of an international conference of the size and scope of Alliance, it is hard to understand the complexity, the level of detail and the amount of sheer hard work that goes into this type of event. My hat is off to these folks. They have done a great job in not the easiest of circumstances.
If you are coming, I look forward to joining you in learning, teaching and expanding our networks of friends and colleagues. If you are still on the fence, there is still time to register. To those who cannot be part of Alliance this year, the Board is taking a number of steps to help you to get information you need throughout the coming year. Look for announcements of some major innovations in how HEUG will deliver critical information to you.
In a time of economic problems of the scale the country is seeing now, you have a choice to either hunker down and pull back into some feeling of security or to take advantage of what opportunities you can discover, be aggressive and use these times to make changes that are needed and will ultimately create a stronger organization. I hope you will join the Board in looking for and taking advantage of those opportunities...See you in Anaheim and throughout the year....stan