Southwest Fox 2018 is a GO!

We have some good news to share today. Thanks to the support of the Visual FoxPro community, a very generous supporter who made a large donation, and our many sponsors, Southwest Fox 2018 will proceed as planned October 18-21, 2018 in Gilbert, AZ.

We really appreciate all the support people have shown for the conference with early registrations! That said, the decision comes with a serious calculated risk because we are still many registrations short of the break-even point. Please continue to spread the word to your colleagues, clients, user groups and anywhere else Visual FoxPro is spoken.

If you haven’t yet registered, there’s still room for you. Register before August 1st for a $50 early-bird discount.

Southwest Fox 2018 Super-Saver Deadline is days away

Registration for Southwest Fox 2018 has been open for a few weeks and there are just a few days left until the Super-Saver Registration deadline. If you register before the end of June, you save $125 and we’ll throw in a pre-conference session worth $99. Not only that, but you’ll be entered in the drawings for a scholarship that will reduce your cost even more and a license of Stonefield Query SDK, a $2,500 value. Check out the speakers and topics on the conference website.

Please beat the rush so we still have some fingernails left when July begins! No need to wait, we won’t charge your card or cash your check until the middle of July!

Southwest Fox 2018 Registration is open!

Registration for Southwest Fox (http://www.swfox.net/register.aspx) is now available. See http://www.swfox.net/speakers.aspx for a list of speakers and http://www.swfox.net/sessionsswfox.aspx for a list of sessions. Super-Saver Registration, which saves you $125, is available only through June 30th, so don’t wait.

Putting on a conference is a risky endeavor. Conference centers require a guaranteed minimum income to block the dates of a conference; for a conference like Southwest Fox, that minimum is in the tens of thousands of dollars. We have to commit to the conference center by July 2nd and need your support by July 1st to make that commitment. We will not send out any “We need your help” appeals so please do not wait; register by June 30th! We know most of you like to wait until the last minute to avoid the credit card bill arriving too soon. We will not charge any attendee credit cards or cash any checks until we have committed to going forward (sometime after July 2), so this is not is a reason to wait.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

Why you should stay at the conference hotel

One of the things we like to do with this blog is open the curtain and tell you about what goes into creating Southwest Fox and especially the financial considerations. We think it’s helpful to us and to you if you understand why we make some of the choices we make.

In this post, we want to talk about the economics of conference centers. In planning a conference, there’s a choice between holding the sessions at the same hotel where attendees are staying and holding the sessions at a separate facility.

We’ve found that it works better for us and our attendees to use a single facility. Why? First, of course, because it makes it easy for attendees and speakers to go back to their rooms during the day to drop things off, pick things up or even take a nap. When the hotel and conference center aren’t together, that can be harder.

But the primary reason for using a single facility is that filling hotel rooms with our attendees gives us leverage.

We use that leverage to negotiate a room rate for the conference. We push to make that rate better than what you get booking directly or through a third-party. We also push to have that rate available not just for the conference dates, but for a few days before and after the conference, so that you get it if you want to come out early or stay late to visit friends or relatives, to do some sight-seeing, or just to sleep in or sit by the pool.

We also use that leverage (along with the leverage of buying a lot of food) to get the use of the meeting rooms for free. Normally, there’s a fee for using conference meeting rooms; it’s typical to have a basic fee to use the room for a three or four-hour block and then an additional hourly fee. For a conference like ours, which needs rooms to be set aside for us for three and a half days or more, those fees could be enormous. But the other income we bring to the hotel means they’re willing to waive those fees.

In exchange for this, our contract with the hotel commits us to filling a certain number of hotel rooms. The hotel blocks those rooms for our attendees and, if we fail to fill them, we must pay the hotel for them (unless the hotel is sold out). We work to find the optimal number of so-called room nights that ensures our attendees get rooms at the conference hotel, but doesn’t obligate us to pay for rooms that won’t be used.

Why are we telling you about this? Because we know that sometimes, despite our best efforts, you can find a little better room rate online, or you can find a cheaper hotel nearby. In 2018, a new Hilton-branded hotel is supposed to be built next door to the DoubleTree where we hold Southwest Fox. Based on what we’ve learned about the particular brand, rooms there will likely cost less than rooms at the DoubleTree. But those rooms will not count toward our guarantee.

So we’re asking you not to stay there. If enough people stay elsewhere or book at the DoubleTree without using our special conference code, it will cost us more to run the conference, and we’ll have to charge you more. So you might save on your room, but have to spend the same amount in added conference fees in future.

Super-saver deadline is this Thursday, June 30

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

That’s the countdown clock here at Geek Gatherings getting closer to the Super-saver deadline for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++!  June 30th is this Thursday and we thought we would pass along a reminder just in case you forgot to type it into your task list, or put a yellow sticky note on your monitor. We still need people to register to make the conferences happen.

The conferences take place September 22-25, 2016 in Gilbert, Arizona and we really hope you can be there. We would hate to see you lose out on the $125 discount, the FREE pre-conference session, and an opportunity to win a scholarship or a license of Stonefield Query SDK (a $6,000 value).

Head over to the registration Web site today: http://geekgatherings.com/Registration

If you’ve already registered, we thank you. Can you help us remind your fellow developers who have been procrastinating about the looming deadline by sharing this email or tweeting about it? Spread the word by telling others you going on our Facebook event.

Also, if you sent in your registration and have not received a confirmation, please contact us to see what happened. Everyone gets a confirmation when the registration is processed. As promised, we are not cashing checks or processing credit cards for new registrations until the middle of July.

Check out our list of amazing speakers and dig into our session tracks for VFP and Xbase++. Follow the news about the conference on our blog.

2016 Registration is open!

Registration for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ is now available. You find lists of speakersSouthwest Fox sessions and Southwest Xbase++ sessions on the conference website. Super-Saver Registration, which saves you $125, is available only through June 30th, so don’t wait.

Putting on a conference is a risky endeavor. Conference centers require a guaranteed minimum income to block the dates of a conference; for a conference like Southwest Fox, that minimum is in the tens of thousands of dollars. We have to commit to the conference center by July 2nd and need your support by July 1st to make that commitment. We will not send out any “We need your help” appeals so please do not wait; register by June 30th! We know most of you like to wait until the last minute to avoid the credit card bill arriving too soon. We will not charge any attendee credit cards or cash any checks until we have committed to going forward (sometime after July 2), so this is not is a reason to wait.

We look forward to seeing you in September!

Less than a week to Super-saver deadline!

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

That’s the countdown clock here at Geek Gatherings getting closer to the Super-saver deadline for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++! June 30th is a little 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 put a yellow sticky note on your monitor. We still need people to register to make the conferences happen.

The conferences take place October 15-18, 2015 in Gilbert, Arizona and we really hope you can be there. We would hate to see you miss out on the $125 discount, the FREE pre-conference session, and an opportunity to win a scholarship or a license of Stonefield Query SDK (a $6,000 value).

Head over to the registration Web site today: http://geekgatherings.com/Registration

If you’ve already registered, we thank you. Can you help us remind your fellow developers who have been procrastinating about the looming deadline by sharing this post or tweeting about it? Spread the word by telling others you are going on our Facebook event.

Also, if you sent in your registration and have not received a confirmation, please contact us to see what happened. Everyone gets a confirmation when the registration is processed. As promised, we are not cashing checks or processing credit cards for new registrations until the middle of July.

Check out our list of amazing speakers and dig into our session tracks for VFP and Xbase++. Follow the news about the conference on this blog.

Contact Us:

So please beat the rush so we still have some fingernails left when July begins!

We appreciate all the support people have shown for the conference with early registrations; we look forward to getting many more this week.

Registration is open!

Registration for Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ is now available. See the website for a list of speakers, VFP sessions and Xbase++ sessions. Super-Saver Registration, which saves you $125, is available only through June 30th, so don’t wait.

Putting on a conference is a risky endeavor. Conference centers require a guaranteed minimum income to block the dates of a conference; for a conference like Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++, that minimum is in the tens of thousands of dollars. We have to commit to the conference center by July 2nd and need your support by July 1st to make that commitment. We will not do “We need your help” appeals this year so please do not wait, get registered by June 30th! We know most of you like to wait until the last minute to avoid the credit card bill arriving too soon. We will not charge any attendee credit cards or cash any checks until sometime in the second half of July or early August (once we’ve committed to going forward), so this no longer is a reason to wait.

We look forward to seeing you in October!

Early-Bird Registration deadline is August 31

One last quick reminder: you can save $50 by registering with the early-bird registration discount. The deadline is this Saturday, August 31st. Every registered attendee gets admission and white papers to all regular conference sessions.
Here’s what a couple of our speakers have to say about their session.

A few words from Doug Hennig about his session “Fix Problems Fast with Advanced Error Handling and Instrumentation Techniques”:
“My company’s main product is unusual for a VFP application: it doesn’t have a fixed database structure that it works with or even a fixed database engine. It may have to work with a SQL Server accounting database, a MySQL customer relationship management database, or a VFP medical billing database. When a problem occurs, we sometimes ask the customer to send us a copy of their configuration files and application database so we can reproduce the problem, but that isn’t always possible. So, many times, all we have to go on is what we can log at the time the error occurred. As a result, we’ve had to become very good at generating detailed log information and analyzing that information to determine and fix the problem. Thanks to these techniques, there are very few problems we can’t track down quickly.
This session discusses the code we use for error handling and instrumentation as well as techniques for quickly tracking down and solving problems. feel free to use this code as is or adapt it to your own applications as you see fit. ”

A few words from Eric Selje about his “Unit Testing 201: Testing Our SQL Server Backends”
“I have received so much positive response from this session in the various SQL Saturdays and User Groups where I’ve presented it. The timing is really right for database developers to start exercising the same discipline of unit testing they’ve been doing for their code to their databases as well. What does this mean? Come to my session at Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ in October and find out! ”
Don’t miss this chance to learn from the best and mix with your peers.

Registration opens June 1st

Registration for Southwest Fox 2011 opens on June 1, 2011!

In past years we opened registration on May 1st, so why the delay this year? The conference is later this year by a couple of weeks because of the Jewish holy days. Traditionally we only get a few registrations in the month of May so we decided to push back the open date until June 1st.

This week we will be updating the Web site to announce the sessions and the speakers who will be presenting at this year’s conference. We also will be posting an updated registration application and a short video on how to use it.

Stay tuned, Southwest Fox 2011 is going to be a great conference!