Registrations heating up, so are prizes

My day started with some sweet news I wanted to share with everyone. Just in case you have not read the news on the Southwest Fox site, I wanted to let you know that Tightline Computers has donated three licenses for Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite and MSDN Premium Subscription (1-year), valued at US$11,000 EACH.

That means we have six licenses to give away! Imagine yourself returning to the office on October 20th with one of these licenses. How good would that feel?

Thanks to Andy Kramek and Marcia Akins for this fantastic contribution to the conference.

Not long after I read Marcia’s email, six registrations dropped in the registration email box. Looks like it could be a very busy day.

Hurry to get early-bird Discounts

Hear that sound? Tick, tick, tick, tick…

That’s the countdown clock here at Geek Gatherings getting closer to the early-bird deadline for Southwest Fox! July 1 is less than a week away and we thought we would pass along a reminder just in case you forgot to type it into your task list, or stick it on your monitor on a yellow sticky note.

Southwest Fox takes place October 16-19, 2008 in Mesa, Arizona and we really hope you can be there. We would hate to see you miss out on the $75 discount, the free pre-conference session, and a chance at the $300 scholarship from White Light Computing.

Already registered? Thanks. Can you help us remind your fellow VFP developers who have been procrastinating that the deadline is looming?

Now if the great sessions, networking opportunities, Arizona weather, fun and merriment, discount, and freebie pre-con are not enough to entice you to come, how about a chance to win an Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite and MSDN Premium Subscription (1-year), valued at US$11,000. We’ve got three of them to give away!

Okay, so maybe that is not enough, what if we told you the moment we process your registration, we’ll send you a code for a free license for xSQL Software’s xSQL Data Compare Pro (a US$399 value). This product allows you to compare and synchronize data in two SQL Server databases. That’s right, you get back almost US$400 of the registration cost even before you reach Mesa!

Where are those ginsu knives?

We have lots of raffle prizes from our sponsors and vendors to give away during the conference. Special thanks to all our sponsors: White Light Computing, Stonefield Query, Tomorrow’s Solutions LLC, Sybase iAnywhere, Servoy, xSQL Software, FoxRockX, ApexSQL Software, Sweet Potato Software, Redgate, Information Technology Associates, and Visual Extend.

If you’re a user group leader, you probably want to contact us if you have not done so already and let us know you want in on the $25 per registration for your group. Free money to help your organization fund your activities. You cannot go wrong with this, but you have to let us know by July 1st that you are interested. Send contact information to info@swfox.net.

Got suggestions? info@swfox.net
Got questions? info@swfox.net
Got registrations? register@swfox.net

Or you can call the Geek Gatherings’ World Headquarters at 586.254.2530.

Read about the registration process and get the registration form.

Check out our list of amazing speakers.

Dig into our five session tracks.

Use our brochure to convince your boss (or spouse or SO) to let you go.

So please beat the rush so we don’t have to test the scalability of the registration tracking application next week!

113 days until we gather in Mesa.

Regards,
Rick Schummer
Tamar Granor
Doug Hennig

Southwest Fox
October 16-19, 2008
Arizona Golf Resort and Conference Center Mesa, Arizona http://www.swfox.net

Door Prizes: Special Announcement

The three organizers (Rick, Doug, and Tamar) from Geek Gatherings are each donating one copy of Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite and MSDN Premium Subscription (1-year) as give-aways for Southwest Fox 2008. The subscription retails from Microsoft for US$10,939.

Three lucky attendees will walk away from the conference with all of Microsoft’s top-of-the-line “everything package for developers”, which includes all the Microsoft developer tools, server products, operating systems, Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Dynamics, SDKs and more.

You must be registered for the conference to be eligible to win, and present for the drawings. More details to be announced closer to the conference.

125 days until some lucky person has a lot more developer tools in their toolbox!

Southwest Fox Just Got Better

Southwest Fox 2008 Gold sponsor xSQL Software is giving away a free license of xSQL Data Compare Pro (a $399 value — allows you to compare and synchronize data in two SQL Server databases) to every conference participant. What a great offset of the conference price – you pay $695 for the conference and get back more than half of it ($399) with this offer alone! Even better, you’ll receive your free license as soon as you register for Southwest Fox 2008 so you don’t even have to wait until October!

Registration Streamlined for Email

I had a recent discussion with some people coming to Southwest Fox 2008 concerning the registration process and possibly streamlining it. They asked a question about online registration and why we don’t have it. The basic reason is simple: I don’t want to store your credit card information on our Web site or someone else’s Web site. The merchant setup we have is relatively economical and integrates with QuickBooks seamlessly, but requires me to enter in the credit card number into QuickBooks. I literally have had nightmares about someone calling claiming we were responsible for their credit card getting out for hackers and thieves. Not going to do it (in my best impersonation of Dana Carvey impersonating George Herbert Walker Bush).

The reason the person was interested in an online form is the fact they have to print out the form and sign it, then scan it in to send to me via email. Some registrations come in with a scanned signature image pasted into the Word document. Others have printed out the registration and fax the printed form with the added cost of a one or two minute long distance phone call. All this because they had to sign the form. This takes more time for everyone using either technique. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just fill out the form and email it in and have the signature somehow be electronic? Sure. Several registrations emailed in have a note on the signature line about the signature being “on file.” The fact the individual emailed it to us is good enough for the electronic signature. So feel free to email those registrations in.

Earlier this year I was streamlining the data entry part of the registration. I was curious on the distribution for the way people sent us registrations for last year’s conference. I was surprise by the results back then:

  1. Fax: 49%
  2. Email: 29%
  3. Snail Mail: 13%
  4. In Person: 9%

I expected email to be the clear winner. So far the distribution for this year’s registration is:

  1. Fax: 43%
  2. In Person: 24%
  3. Email: 19%
  4. Snail Mail: 14%

Now I might have a better understanding why so many people prefer fax. It makes no difference to me how you send in a registration. The streamlining of the process is designed to help you save time and possibly a little bit of cash.

With the biggest bulk of registrations expected over the next few weeks I think this streamlining of the process is being timed well. Let me know your thoughts. We are open to different ideas especially if it reduces administrative overhead.

The updated registration form is on the Southwest Fox Web site. No need to get it if you already have it filled out, just note on the signature lines that your signature is “on file.”

Only 22 days to take advantage of the early-bird registration benefits: save $75 for the registration, get a free pre-conference session, a chance at a $300 scholarship toward your registration from White Light Computing, and the bragging rights that you are already registered for Southwest Fox 2008.

Only 129 days until we meet in Mesa!