I posted this on the IDS SIG yesterday. Here is it again in case you missed it and are interested.
The IIUG2014 CPC met at the JW Marriott in Miami, FL this weekend to prepare for the 2014 conference. I thought I would give an update on where we are at and pass along my experience with the city and hotel since this will be a new location for a lot of us in April.
The hotel is beyond nice. The place is 98.34% Marble and Mahogany and smells terrific. Yes, it is weird to compliment a hotel on their smell, but I thought this to myself each time I entered the lobby. It is the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in and unless I hit the Florida Lotto, it will be the nicest hotel I ever stay in. The hotel is not undergoing a remodel nor are they planning on any major construction during the conference (for those that attended the Overland Park conferences, this is important).
In terms of number of rooms, the hotel is smaller than we are used to. It is very possible that we will have more conference attendees than we have rooms. If you know you will attend IIUG2014 you should register ASAP to guarantee a room in the hotel and take advantage of the Early Registration pricing. We do not have an overflow hotel and other hotels in the area are at least $50 more per night.
In terms of conference space, the hotel is larger than we are used to. There are more session rooms and meeting space which will give us the ability to offer more sessions and tracks than we have in the past. Additionally, all of the conference space is contained on the 5th floor of the hotel and not spread out like it was in San Diego.
The hotel has 3 restaurants and a bar. Isabela’s is open for breakfast only, La Terraza Café is open for lunch and dinner (very good, except for the chicken sandwich) and the Trapiche Room which is a super small 4 or 6 table intimate fine dining restaurant that is open for lunch and dinner. Perfect if you want to propose or you are spending your 20 year wedding anniversary at the IIUG conference. The bar is called Drake’s and is reminiscent of a classic British pub.
The hotel is surrounded by non-conference activities if you want to get out at night or want to do something before or after the conference. Restaurants and shopping are within walking distance and there is a free trolley that runs every 15 minutes (approximately) that stops close to the hotel if you want to explore the city.
The hotel has a Spa if you are in to that kind of thing. You can get a massage, a facial, mani/pedis and paraffin hand treatment among other things. There is also a fitness center complete with a sauna in the locker room. Fancy. The pool is heated and is stainless steel (you will just have to see for yourself) and there is a hot tub/whirlpool. All of this is on the 7th floor.
The weather was beautiful and will be again in April with an average low of
70 F and average high of 85 F and very little chance of rain.
I took a cab to/from the Miami International Airport. The cost was about $28 (not including tip) and took about 30 minutes with no traffic.
We met with the Head Chef to address some of the complaints we have had with our Vegetarian and Kosher food offerings and to ensure that our high standard for meals is met.
That is about it for the hotel and city. We have a good idea of what sessions will be offered this year. If you submitted a proposal, you will be hearing from an IIUG2014 CPC member in the next week or so. As far as content goes, here is an idea of what you can expect:
- Troubleshooting and Performance Tuning
- Cloud (ER, HDR/SDS/RSS)
- Hands on Labs
- Thursday Tutorials (Full and Half Day)
We have also left a few session spots open and we want you to tell us what to put there. There will be an email blast from the IIUG soon asking you to submit any requests for sessions that you would like to see at IIUG2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject of SESSION REQUST and we will do what we can to find a willing presenter on the most requested topics that aren’t already covered. We can’t make any promises that your suggestion will be presented, but we will certainly try our best.
Very tentative schedule, similar to last year:
- Sunday – Welcome Reception with food and open beer and wine bar
- Monday – Breakfast and Lunch, AM Keynote, Conference Sessions, Hands on Labs, PM Event/Party with food and open beer and wine bar
- Tuesday – Breakfast and Lunch, AM Keynote, Conference Sessions, Hands on Labs, PM Event/Party with food and open beer and wine bar
- Wednesday – Breakfast and Lunch, Conference Sessions, Hands on Labs, No PM Event
- Thursday – Breakfast and Lunch, Tutorials
Registration is open now at iiug2014.org. Early registration at a discount of $225 over the Regular conference price is open through January 15, 2014. Don’t forget that all IIUG members can save an additional $100 on Early and Regular registration through April 7, 2014 and that IIUG membership is free at www.iiug.org.