As Dimitri Gielis has already blogged, Apex Evangelists recently held our very first Application Express European Training days. This was to be a 3-Day advanced APEX course open for general registration by anyone (as opposed to our on-site training which is usually tailored specifically to a customer).
We had been planning this event for what seems like ages now, I won’t cover what Dimitri has already mentioned, but it’s amazing how you can spend all day working out the fine details of an event like this (for example trying to pick exactly what food we would offer etc).
The training was being held in the Le Plaza hotel in Brussels and Dimitri and I had agreed that we should arrive there the day before the training began, to make sure everything was working and that we had a chance to familiarise ourselves with the room setup and all the equipment etc.
This turned out to be one of the better decisions I’ve made, since –
- I arrived at the airport to find out that my flight had been cancelled and that there was no alternative flight. The check-in staff advised me that if I ran I could catch a flight down to Heathrow where I should be able to find a flight to Brussels. On arriving at Heathrow I was told there was no other flight to Brussels, but they could get me on a flight to Paris. At this point I had visions of calling Dimitri and telling him he’d need to do the training himself as I was currently in Outer Mongolia. Fortunately, almost of of earshot I heard someone else mention a flight to Brussels on another airline and I was able to manage to convince them (i.e. by raising my voice a few notches) to put me on that flight instead.
- We couldn’t get the projector which we’d borrowed to work, at one point the picture was so small and ‘wonky’ that we may as well have got people to crowd round a laptop instead
- After getting the projector to work, we then discovered that (very annoyingly) the cable between the projector and the laptop was about 2 feet too short and the hotel did not have a longer cable (we also couldn’t move things too much because of the layout of the room). Fortunately the Hotel was right in the centre of Brussels so we ran out and managed to find an electronics store where we bought an adapter to lengthen the cable.
I’m still learning a lot about presenting, but one of the big lessons I’m learning is that usually it’s better to assume that things *won’t* work (or won’t go according to plan) rather than assuming they will. Had we not arrived the day before then we would have been rushing to get all of those things done first thing in the morning.
Before we announced the training Dimitri and I spent a long time trying to find a good hotel since we wanted our first training event like this to be held in a nice location. I can honestly say we weren’t disappointedly by the Le Plaza hotel.
One thing I will never forget is when we first saw the ‘welcome sign’ in the Hotel announcing our training for the attendees.
It was also the first time I had been in the room that we were going to be presenting in. I had seen a photograph of it, but in the flesh the room seemed so much bigger, particularly when it was empty.
I’ll post some more soon about the actual APEX training itself and how things went.