CFUnited 2009 was a huge success. I enjoyed every aspect of this conference. I'm one of the lucky few that is close enough to drive to this conference, so it's already a convenience. Even with the travel aside, there were several reasons I found the conference a delight this year.
The Venue: This year, CFUnited was held at the Landsdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. This facility was VERY nice. The staff made you feel welcome from the moment you stepped through the door (which they opened for you). Check in was a breeze and everything was nicely laid out. The walls were covered in upscale artwork and the high ceilings almost gave the feeling of being in some sort of palace. The rooms were laid out much like every other hotel room is, but were very clean with high quality furnishing, full length mirrors and plenty of lighting. The beds also came with an abundance of pillows, which I enjoyed quite a bit. During the sessions the staff at Landsdowne made sure we had an abundance of snacks, drinks, pastries, yogurt, cereal bars, ice cream, etc, etc, etc.....I was never wanting for anything.
The Sessions: This year offered more sessions than I think I've ever seen at CFUnited. There was a nice mix of ColdFusion and Flex sessions as well as some design and CSS sessions. I got more out of the sessions this year than I can ever say I have at a prior CFUnited or any other conference. I don't have a bad thing to say about any session I attended.
The People: I can't say enough about the people. Some I knew before, some I didn't, but I met some of the greatest people in the CF community at CFUnited. People like Dan Wilson, Dee Sadler, Lisa Heselton, Ben Nadel, Aaron West, Ray Camden......the list goes on and on. Having meals with these folks and just chatting in the halls made for great networking and just a lot of fun in general. These are some top notch programmers that know how to have some fun as well. Did anyone else drive an entire clover leaf system trying to make a U turn on the interstate while waving your hands around like you're on a roller coaster??? I didn't think so...
Stellr: To Liz and the team, THANK YOU. You made this year perfect. Without your hard work none of this would have been possible. It can't be anywhere near easy to put together an event of this magnitude and have everything go as smoothly as it did. I know I'm not alone when I express my gratitude for what went into CFUnited 2009. I can't wait to see what you've got in store for next year.
There are probably a ton of things I missed, but I think you get the idea. I hope CFUnited continues to use Landsdowne and the venue for next year and I can't wait to attend again. See you next year at CFUnited 2010!