Saturday, March 24, 2007

VFP conference organizers are friends - honest

Over the last few weeks a few people have commented to me privately how the North American VFP conferences threaten each other in the September and October time frame. I can tell you this is not the case. Sure, in the big picture we are competitors because we are trying to convince the same customer to attend our conference. But the fact is, the conferences are very different in the type of developer we expect to attract to our venues.

Yesterday I got an email from Kevin Cully asking me a question about how we are approaching credit card processing for Southwest Fox. This is a big deal expense to a conference organizer or any business accepting credit card payments. The costs can easily determine if a conference like ours is profitable or generating a loss. I just got off the phone with the second credit card processing vendor I talked to that afternoon when his email arrived. I called Kevin and talked to him for an hour. We covered a number of common issues FoxForward and Southwest Fox face. It was a great conversation and I learned a lot from the discussion. Thanks Kevin.

When I was first contemplating taking over Southwest Fox I called Kevin and the other VFP conference organizers looking for their wisdom and to understand the battle scars. I wanted to avoid making as many mistakes as possible. Kevin, Whil Hentzen, Rainer Becker, Igor Vit, Mike and Toni Feltman, and Craig Bailey have been very supportive and are very open to my inquiries. Each and every one of them spent time advising me on the dos and don'ts. Even Advisor wants to talk to us. Hopefully it will help Southwest Fox to be a great conference, and maybe I can return the favor at some point in the future.

The key here is Kevin and I want each other's conference to be very successful this fall. It is in the best interest of the Fox Community. So if you are worried we are out to cut each other's throats, fear not.

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