I have made it to Fargo, North Dakota, the home of Microsoft Business Solutions and the Microsoft Dynamics GP Product team.
The Microsoft Dynamics GP Technical Airlift 2012 conference is not officially starting until Wednesday. However, arriving early into town has proven it's value over the past few years, allowing for plenty of time to fine tune presentations, catch up with friends, and really get some R&R time before the action begins. This time around, I will be going it solo as a presenter as my friend of many battles, David Musgrave, was not able to attend due to various work commitments.
Let's see, where do I start...
I have to admit, I feel like a truck ran me over: I am battling a head cold and being airborne at 32,000 feet in a pressurized cabin just don't quite help the situation. Fortunately, my wife had the presence of mind to pack me some Alka Seltzer Plus Day and Night Formula along with some vitamin C, which should help get a good night rest.
Surprisingly enough, security lines at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport were a breeze and I was able to make it fairly quick to my gate, despite the volume of travelers. After boarding the flight to Minneapolis and closing in on the departure time (3:22 PM EST), the captain announced the airplane would undergo a routine "maintenance check" which translated into a 35-minute departure delay.
Upon arrival at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, I had barely enough time to make it to my next flight. Luckily enough, there was a Delta Airlines electric cart around and I was able to get a ride from concourse F to concourse C. This 5-minute ride set me at gate C2 just on-time to board my flight to Fargo - as an interesting note, the cart driver told me that from end-to-end, the MSP airport is 2 miles long (3.2 KM)
|MSP Lindbergh Terminal Layout|
On board, I saw a few partners, among them Jen Kuntz from Kuntz Consulting in Canada. Jen had just landed from Toronto and was also rushing to meet the flight.
Upon landing in Fargo, I couldn't help but to notice the 'stickiness' in the air. That's right! It was nice and comfortable 80 degrees with a fairly high humidity; a far cry from the frigid days of winter, and certainly a contrast from the earlier weather in Atlanta - 74 degrees with zero humidity. However, while waiting for the hotel shuttle, I was talking to veteran resident who pointed out the lack of rain in the area for over the past 4 months.
Arriving at the hotel lobby, I ran into the first familiar faces - in fact, it always seems I run into these two first wherever I go.
|Mark Rockwell and Kelly Sexton from Rockton Software|
After check in, a warm dinner was the next on my list of things to do. Not wanting to push it, I decided to camp out at the hotel restaurant, Basies. The restaurant (and bar) is currently undergoing extensive renovation, so the dining area has been relocated to a former conference room in the hotel, with a reduced menu selection. Nonetheless, the food was very good.
Tomorrow, I will begin working my way through the samples for my first presentation on Wednesday, Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics GP Customization Tools.
It now time to call it a night.
It's worth mentioning that hotel room occupancy in Fargo is at an all time high around these days. There are 3 major events going on in town:
- Big Iron, featuring the newest and best in agriculture equipment at the Midwest largest Agro expo.
- Greater Moorhead Days, while Moorhead is in Minnesota, just across the Red River, its proximity to Fargo makes it a must for visitors to stay on this side. The event is a celebration of Moorhead featuring a variety of events including the annual Greater Moorhead Days parade, a medallion hunt, and many other activities.
- Microsoft Dynamics Technical Airlift 2012, hosted by GPUG's GPPC this event is drawing close to 465 partners and ISVs
Mariano Gomez, MVP