Acquia at DIWD, Dude
by Kevin Hankens
If you didn't get a chance to attend DIWD (Do it with Drupal) - apparently pronounced "Dude" - you definitely missed out. Bryan, Linea, Chuck, Robert, Gábor and I all boarded planes on Tuesday to head down to New Orleans for the three-day event. None were disappointed.
We six Acquians spent three days rotating between booth duty, attending seminars, presenting seminars, talking Drupal and enjoying lots of good food. There were all types of attendees from beginner to advanced, but the speakers were all heavy hitters. Robert's SOLR presentation elicited many "oohs" and "ahhs" and I honestly heard Gábor's internationalization seminar referred to as "god-like."
The event was held at the New Orleans Marriott, which was a great place to seek refuge from the SNOW. Yes, I said snow. I figured that flying from Massachusetts to Louisiana would mean I didn't need a coat. Hmm, I should have check the forecast. Foul weather aside, we did find our way down to the French Quarter more than once with friends from Volacci, Tree House, Development Seed, et al., and managed to bump into just about every other attendee in the process. It's funny how you can somehow pick Drupal people out of a crowd. Oh, and a word to the wise, although the Lucky Dog hot dog vendors on Bourbon Street are entertaining, and scary-good salesmen, I'd recommend staying away from the Lucky Dogs themselves ;)
The Acquia booth was a big success, and we had no problem giving away Bryan's sweet "Free as in Beer" t-shirts by asking people to show us their Drupal sites. We saw experimental sites, University sites, eCommerce sites - even the Kentucky Derby site, done in Drupal. The thing I love about the community is that everyone is eager to talk Drupal.
People were excited and engaged between seminars, sometimes missing the beginning of the next presentation! I was even rushing away from the booth to catch some of the presenters myself.
All told we had a fantastic time and met some very cool people in the process. Many thanks to Lullabot for putting on such a great event. Next up is Drupalcon D.C. which promises to be awesome as well. Acquia will have an even bigger presence there, with even more great sessions. If you are in D.C., make sure to check us out!