UniForum NZ '94: oh, wow! This was yet another beaut. conference, with a large and wonderful mix of techos, managers, boffins, VIPs, smoothies, systems experts, telecomms experts, network groupies, all sorts. Most gratifyingly, more than half of the 187 delegates were users (51%) as opposed to vendors (35%) and consultants (10%) - and taking into account that many of the representatives of vendor organisations and nearly all the consultants and press people present were in fact themselves computer users, a more realistic estimate would be 85%. And they were all talking to each other.
Whether because of the mix of people, the strong programme, the high standard of presentations, the very interesting exhibition, the good food, wine and entertainment, the excellent venue or just the mood of the delegates, this conference worked: the atmosphere was great.
There was a lot going on, this year, including some new features - the enhanced tutorial programme, which proved very popular, and the vendor presentations, which added some glitz and fun but aroused mixed reactions amongst delegates; it must be admitted that the anti-vendor devices [would whoever half-inched the little one please return it, my children are now unequally equipped in their on-going sibling wars. - Brenda Lobb] were not totally effective. The bookshop enjoyed steady business and the free software and books were snapped up very quickly. The SIG-Bofs were well-attended even though the timing was a bit tight. The costumes at the Arabian evening were just amazing, the entertainment, food and wine all most enjoyable.
The exhibition and particularly the Interop display were specially good this year - more accessible, somehow, and thoroughly entertaining, although many people found that with so much going on, there just wasn't enough time to get to everything.
Next year, perhaps?
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