.NEXT Experience – Day 1

First and foremost, I can’t thank Angelo Luciani (please check out his website) and Nutanix enough for providing this opportunity. Blessed, humbled and darn right happy to be surrounded by such a great group of individuals we commonly refer to as the #vCommunity.

The journey to .NEXT began this morning at the registration table. The process was very straightforward and the staff was very friendly, approachable and answered any questions I had. Once my conference badge was provided, I then proceeded to the GiveAway area where Nutanix awarded each attendee with a gift box which included a limited edition .NEXT t-shirt, a charger, a bottle of Tabasco hot sauce and a box of Beignet mix (both Louisiana traditions).

Next, I mingled with attendees and connected with them via social media so we can remain in contact going forward. One of the perks (IMO) when attending a conference of this kind, is the ability to network with others in the industry which leads to friendships for many years.

Later in the day, the folks at the #Hackathon were kind enough to allow me to peak in on the session and snap a few photos (link below). More information about the Hackathon can be found here.

Up next, I met with the employees from FlyWheel Sports which included Jacquelyn, Erika and Mike. They have some innovative products and answered any questions I had. My goal and hope is to take their products for a test drive during Wednesday’s session. I could use the motivation and their product(s) may light a fire in me that’s severely overdue.

Later in the day, I met with some employees from Datrium who held a Twitter contest (#InsaneWish) which offered conference attendees a chance to submit a wish of their choice. Instead of wishing for something I already have or don’t necessarily need, Datrium honored my request and made a $200.00 contribution on my behalf towards a Children’s Cancer Research fund.

From 5-7pm, the Welcome Reception\Solutions Expo was held in Hall B. Food and drinks were provided which also included entertainment from local musicians. You could also find vendors\partners on display demonstrating their respective products. This also gave me an opportunity to chat w\ Ken Nalbone (please check out his website) in the Community area.

Later in the evening, I attended two parties.

The first was Rubrik Game Night at Ohm Lounge. If you’re into nostalgia and old school video\arcade games, this is the place to be. Kudos to Rubrik for selecting a great location and kudos to the Rubrik staff for being extremely friendly and professional. I had numerous side chats with the employees (one of which who grew up in the Northern Va area) and enjoyed every minute. I also had the pleasure of meeting Brandon Graves, Paul Woodward Jr. and Keith Townsend. Their respective websites are listed below:

The second party was hosted by Nutanix at the WWII Museum. Food and drinks were provided which also included entertainment from local musicians. The museum included fighter planes, uniforms and other war related memorabilia on display.

My only regret from day 1 and going forward is not being able to meet Elaine Morris in person because she had a previous commitment elsewhere. Until next time my friend…beignets on me!

Side note – if you’re attending a conference at the New Orleans Conference Center, I would suggest staying at the SpringHill Suites Marriott Downtown location. It’s literally 2 blocks away from the convention center.

Pictures from day 1 can be found here.

Finally, please click here to discover how this all started. Thanks again Angelo and Nutanix! #blessed



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