The larger part of the question is "Are COMMON and other conferences still relevant?" I believe the answer is absolutely! Meeting face to face with other users has so much value, it's just hard to quantify. Pete mentioned value in the halls, in the evening events, in the sit down and talk times and those are ABSOLUTELY true. Then you still have the actual educational content! Like Pete I attended my first local user group 'a long time ago' and I remember it was a vendor pitch but I learned a lot (and even eventually purchased their product!) Over the years it became time to give back and I do so frequently. BUT I learn at every single event. Some of the stuff is 'slap your head' stuff (You can DO that!?) and some is general overview kind of knowledge needed to understand how things work. Recently Pete and I were working together on a project and I did something that stopped him cold: "You can't do that yet." He said. I replied, "Sure you can." and showed him how. You don't get that sort of thing on a web page, a webinar, or from a PDF document. I have had a hundred of those situations go the other way where the look on my face was just as surprised. Now I know each person learns differently from another but face to face where you can actually stop and ask questions combined with personal discussions and conversations ARE important and extremely valuable educational methods.

_\\// COMMON!

- Larry "DrFranken" Bolhuis

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