20 May 2010: California conference

San FranciscoAlthough Janice and I haven’t traveled for work in a while, we’re making up for it this spring and summer! Janice’s technical communications conference in Dallas a few weeks ago went well. On Tuesday, 11 May 2010, I took a JetBlue flight from Boston’s Logan Airport to San Francisco for the Citrix Synergy conference. On the way, I rewatched the Richie/Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, which was decent. I stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown near the Moscone Convention Center.

My first impressions of the city by the bay were positive. The business district reminded me of those in New York or Boston, with varied architecture, good urban energy, and a diverse population. I grabbed lunch at a Del Taco, which is similar to Taco Bell, then registered and attended the welcome reception. All of my meals for the next few days would be provided through the show.

Since this was my first time attending this conference as an associate site editor, I had a lot to learn. I went to the keynote addresses, breakout sessions, panel discussions, and laboratory demonstrations of virtualization technology with about 4,700 attendees (more than in past years).

I found the crowded sessions and vendor hall informative, but I didn’t get to interview as many users and prospective columnists as I had hoped. Fortunately, reporters Jo M. and Bridget B. and blogger Brian M. more than made up for it, and I visited TT’s offices near my hotel. I also enjoyed meeting peers at the press dinner at Ducca on Wednesday, May 12, including foreign correspondents Tony S. from England, Jolein de R. from the Netherlands, and Valery M. from France, as well as fellow New Englanders Carryl R. and Shelly F.

I didn’t get to see much of the host city in the first few days because of conference sessions, but I did talk with executives from Citrix and Intel. For the final night party on Thursday, May 13, we were bussed out to Treasure Island, which had an impressive view of San Francisco’s skyline. Comedian and “closet nerd” Sinbad was the headliner and was pretty funny. An open bar, live band, and several dining options made for a festive night in the large pavilion tent, making up for the fact that I knew relatively few people there.

Coming soon: Robin Hood review, sightseeing, and more!