Mat Newman June 26 2011 15:36:06Lotusphere is a HUGE event. As anyone who had made the trek to the mecca of all things IBM/Lotus would know, the cost of conference fees and accommodation can often be dwarfed by the investment required to get there. However, at UKLug I was a little surprised at the response when Warren Elsmore asked during the OGS how many people had actually been to Lotusphere. To a man, the respondents were almost exclusively the speakers and organisers, out of the 300 strong crowd the number of attendees who had made the trip was minimal.
I was surprised because getting to Orlando from the UK isn't as cost prohibitive as getting there from Australia. When I asked the same question to local user groups earlier this year in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, I was not surprised that so few of us (Australians) have had the benefit of a Lotusphere experience.
Often during economic downturns, such as the recessions currently affecting much of the world, the first thing that is often cut from many IT budgets is training. For the people who run your IT infrastructure, whether it be as an Administrator, Developer or Manager, this can have a dramatic effect on the solutions deployed to run your business. Keeping up with new technology, and even taking full advantage of what you already have, can often come down to one or two little gems learnt during a training course or at attendance at a conference. The old adage 'If it ain't broke...' is often raised at times such as these to counter the justification to send staff to training.
Many years ago, WALNUT (the Worldwide Association of Lotus Notes Users and Technologists) meetings provided Admins, Developers and IT professionals with a meeting point - often a social gathering - where problems, solutions and experience were freely shared among the participants.
During the last couple of years, the resurgence of the Lotus community, particularly through user groups (more affectionately called - "LUG's") has helped to address the decline in education and further understanding among users and specialists. These LUG's are usually FREE for attendees, and provide content that is compelling for the best implementation, deployment and management of IT infrastructure based on IBM/Lotus software.
The other important aspect of LUG's is the ability to socialise and network with your peers, to share your experience and discuss solutions to common issues, often whilst enjoying one's favourite beverage.
Following inspiration from UKLug, ILug, BLUG, IamLUG and many others, a team of dedicated Australian enthusiasts and evangelists has come together to produce the FIRST all-Australian Lotus User Group meeting. We have huge ambitions and aspirations and we are working to bring the cream of talent from across the country and around the world to provide a conference that will ensure YOU are able to make the most of your IBM software investment, and receive a glimpse of what's just around the corner.
AusLUG now has dates and our venue locked in, for more details, to register your attendance, to sponsor the event, or even notify us that you are interested in speaking, please visit the registration page on the AusLUG web-site.
Lock in the dates, August 29th and 30th, 2011 at the Aerial Function Centre in Sydney, Australia. And don't forget - thanks to our generous sponsors, attendance at this event is FREE!
And don't forget to follow us on Twitter, join our group on LinkedIn, or like our page on FaceBook to receive the latest news and updates surrounding the event.
We intend to bring a little bit of Lotusphere to you, because WE know that LUG's important ... they are very, VERY important!