On the way to Lotusphere 2010 and plans for tonight

At last, the day for travelling out to Lotusphere 2010 has dawned.

England is very wet and cold this morning, but the travel to Gatwick and through (first stage) security was great.  Now just to work out what to do with 2.5 hours before my flight leaves – blog I guess!  

LGW in the rain

On that subject I’m on BA2037 from LGW (N) – MCO, seat 20C (yup, down the back!).  If you happen to be on that flight, please do come and say hello – I’d love to meet (or catch up) with anyone headed to Lotusphere.

Once in Orlando, it’s off to the Yacht Club at about 17:30 to drop my bags (almost literally), before a quick trip over to the Boardwalk for the last few minutes of BALD, then to the ESPN for an hour or so.  The reason? To catch up with a load of bloggers and friends in the community, and most importantly, to meet my co-presenter (Rob Wunderlich) in person for the first time!  Isn’t collaboration and social software great – we’ve planned, submitted and created an entire presentation for a leading industry conference without ever having met face-to-face before, exciting stuff!

Then it’s a mad dash to the Penumbra Dinner (19:30) over at Fulton’s in Downtown Disney.  Penumbra is one of the best kept secrets in the Lotus community:

Penumbra is a group of select IBM Business Partners who pool technical resources and management skills to create an ideal IBM Software provider network.

We offer the competence and breadth of much larger companies at a lower cost. In addition, we deliver the full attention of our principal professionals to each project.

Currently over 25 Penumbra member companies worldwide provide a full range of IBM Lotus Software services to millions of licensed users at hundreds of Lotus customer sites, covering Lotus Notes & Domino, Lotus Quickr & QuickPlace, Sametime and WebSphere. Our members’ clients are located worldwide, across all industries and sectors.

Collaboration Matters is currently negotiating the process to become a fully fledged member of the Penumbra organisation and is very proud to be associated with so many fine members of this community. Each year at Lotusphere Penumbra hold a Dinner to which a number of special guests are invited, including senior members of IBM/Lotus and other organisations that are associated with Lotusphere.  At the event a very special announcement is made – the winner of the Penumbra Prism Award for those who have “made an outstanding contribution to partnering with IBM Business Partners, or to the wider IBM community, or to Penumbra itself.”  Look out for news of this presentation to be made later today.

Depending on when I leave the Dinner, it will be back to ESPN or Kimonos for a nightcap before a well deserved sleep – probably at about 5am UK time!  Phew!

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!