Well, that put the cat amongst the pigeons...
I'll be honest in saying I wasn't sure what reaction I would get from Tuesdays' post, even though it's been in draft for quite a while. Whatever my expectation was though, it wasn't what I got!
Firstly, I'd like to say a huge thank you from Kitty and I for all the kind words that have been left as comments or DMs or emails etc. It really is nice to hear those words and to have your understanding.
Secondly, a big thank you too to the people that have contacted me directly, asking what they can do to help ICON UK continue, make it profitable etc etc. Whilst now really isn't the time to be thinking too much into that (it's a little busy here with an event on Monday!) I have obviously kept all the details. Perhaps unsurprisingly though, I've not had one offer to actually run the user group ;-)
Lastly, I'd like to say a little about my choice of words in the first post. I'm always very careful when I post something like that. Of course everything is 100% true, but actually, those facts were public domain anyway.
Sponsorship costs are available to anyone who asks for them, sponsor levels are public on the website and DDR (Day Delegate Rates) are available from the hotels. What has happened is that by putting all those facts together I do seem to have "raised the consciousness level" somewhat. You can rest assured that some eyes have been opened and many people are now far more aware of what is required to make these things happen. I have had phone calls... :-)
As I said before, this is almost certainly the last IBM UG event that we are going to run. Never say never, of course, but it would take something pretty impressive for us to be able to justify the risk and effort again. HOWEVER - UKLUG/IUCON isn't the only group out there and we're not the only passionate people working with the product. So, who knows?
If there is a passion for these events to continue (and there obviously seems to be), then I'm sure something will be reborn. And to that end, the comments that have pleased me the most have been the positive, forward looking ones.
There are many great people - both inside IBM and out - that we all know well and who would like to see these events continue. In tough market conditions everyone starts to feel the pinch no matter what company you work for and we all need to appreciate that. So, lets not tar everyone with the same brush and unlike some comments I've seen, let's not pronounce the event and the whole community dead just yet!