This conference takes months and months of planning. I think we started last June, just as the dust was settling from the 2012 conference. Every detail of the conference takes time and consideration so we can put on a great event for you. The speakers were selected in the Fall and have been working extremely hard to deliver rich and exciting content to you. (They actually turned in their presentations last week and I have to say, I am impressed!)
The menus have been selected (Lots of bacon, per the attendees who specifically requested it in their registration forms -- I do read those!), name badges and conference brochure are printed and we are ready to go! (I just have to keep my 3 year old and her crayons and glitter away from everything!)
I can already tell we have a great group of developers coming to the conference. At the end of every conference we have what is the most valuable session for me from a planning standpoint, the Feedback Session. All of the attendees just throw out suggestions or feedback for the next conference. A suggestion from last year was to email out the attendee list prior to the conference. We did one better! This year we have a private mailing list set up for attendees to plan before the conference, talk during and share contact information after! They have already started planning to share taxis and cars from the airport and have a dinner set up for the night before everything starts so no one has to eat alone!
The conference itself won't be all work with no play! During the evenings we have some great events planned for everyone to unwind, talk about their day and the sessions they attended (and the BIG announcements from the keynote), and make connections. The first night will be at Fulton's Crab House. I LOVE this place. It's set on an old Disney Cruise ship replica and we have rented the third floor deck. This place is perfect to get to know one another a little better while enjoying the water and lights from Downtown Disney. The food is exquisite and no, it's not all crab (attendees can pick one of three options)! But this year we will have a crab option - it IS a crab house, after all!
The second night will include dinner and a little friendly competition... of bowling! Watch out everyone, Norman is bringing his own shoes! (Attendees, I will remind you again but don't leave your house without packing socks!) I bowl about once every 5 years, so I'll probably need bumpers to get the ball down the lane. For the non-bowlers we will have a couple of billiards tables as well.
Friday night after the conference ends, ELO is playing at Epcot Center and I know a small group is already talking about attending.
This will be a great event to get to know each other, learn a lot and ultimately become a better programmer. The entire Real team will be in attendance and you can talk to us all about our areas of expertise and pick our brains. We are here to help you - after all, you are why we do what we do.
We already have developers from all over the world, 13 countries to be exact (Current list is 42% international), the farthest coming from Australia! There is still time to register. And I am still seeing great last minute deals on flights to Orlando. We will take registrations up until Tuesday (April 23), even onsite! See you in Orlando!