Call for speakers for Southwest Fox 2018

We’ve issued the Call for Speakers for Southwest Fox 2018. If you are interested in presenting, please read the document and consider submitting sessions via the Geek Gatherings Submission Web site.

The conferences take place October 18-21, 2018. Session proposals are due by Monday, March 12 at 8 AM EST.

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What do you want to learn, 2018 edition

We’re working on the Call for Speakers for 2018. So, as in 2017 and 2016, we’re providing a list of topics our attendees have asked for. These come from the evaluations filled out at last year’s conference. If you’re thinking of submitting session proposals, you may want to take a look and see whether anything on this list (or one of the earlier lists) is something you feel able to speak about.

The Call for Speakers says this, but we’ll repeat that we encourage submissions from those who haven’t spoken before. We think it’s healthy for our community to give new speakers a chance.

Here’s the list of topics last year’s attendees mentioned, cleaned up and consolidated a little. As you can see, they span a wide range of areas, from core VFP topics to extending VFP to business and technology.

  • Some vfpx items
  • More on keeping vfp and our apps modernized
  • SQL Server
  • Converting from DBFs to SQL Server or another SQL database
  • How to download and/or scrape data from web pages
  • How to automatically have an application post data into a web page.
  • Not just cloudify but how to webify vfp.
  • Continued Web topics.
  • More on web development and maximizing knowledge of VFP in other environments.
  • C# for VFP programmers part 2
  • C#
  • Architecture/OOP Design
  • Apple and/or other watch apps
  • HIPAA compliance in general and in relation to VFP
  • Team Building
  • More on the marketing side
  • Challenges of the Independent Consultant Part 3

If there are topics you’re hoping we’ll cover this year, please add them in the comments.

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Save the Date for Southwest Fox 2018: October 18-21

Geek Gatherings LLC is officially asking you to save the dates for Southwest Fox 2018! The conference takes place October 18-21, 2018 at the San Tan Elegante Conference and Reception Center, the same great location as last year.

We choose speakers from the developer community based on their session proposals. We are always looking for new speakers. Watch the Call for Speakers page of the conference website; we’ll post the Call for Speakers in late February.

As in prior years, we run a substantial risk in running the conference, primarily the tens of thousands of dollars we have to commit to the conference center. So, once again, we ask you to register for the conference before the July 1 deadline so we can make our go or no-go decision.

All the details about registration, speakers, sessions, and more will be available in May.

Special Request!!!

If there are any topics you hope will be covered this year, please send them to info@geekgatherings.com, right away.

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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.

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Early-bird discount extended to August 21. Save $50

Ooops, we goofed! One of the us went on vacation and completely forgot to schedule the end of July reminder to get registered before the Southwest Fox 2017 Early-bird deadline. So to make up for this colossal mistake, we have decided to extend the Early-bird discount of $50 through August 21st.

The conference takes place October 26-29, 2017 in Gilbert, Arizona and we really hope you can be there. Head over to the registration Web site today: https://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, drop a hint at your local user group, or tweet about it? Spread the word by telling others you going on our Facebook event.

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

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Southwest Fox 2017 Super-saver deadline is Friday, 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!  June 30th is this Friday 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 conference takes place October 26-29, 2017 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: https://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. Follow the news about the conference on our blog.

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Southwest Fox 2017 Super-Saver Deadline Approaches

Listen to Andrew MacNeill’s FoxShow podcast featuring Rick, Doug and Tamar talking about Southwest Fox 2017.

Registration for Southwest Fox 2017 has been open for a few weeks and there’s less than two weeks 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 up to three scholarships that will reduce your costs some more.

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 August!

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We are back…

The SWFox.NET site was down today. We are fixing things up and have most of the stuff working again. Sorry for any inconvenience to anyone looking for more details about this year’s conference.

Only 132 days until we gather in Gilbert!

Only  14 days until our Super-saver discount expires! Get registered today!!

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Speakers and Sessions posted

Speakers and sessions for Southwest Fox 2017 have been announced. We’re happy to welcome Toni Feltman back as a speaker this year.

Registration opens soon; send an email to info@geekgatherings.com if you want us to email you when it’s ready. See you in October!

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No Southwest Xbase++ in 2017

Geek Gatherings LLC, the organizers of Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++, have partnered with Alaska Software and the best speakers from the Xbase++ community to run Southwest Xbase++ for the past five years. Last November, Alaska Software informed us their core staff members would not be presenting at conferences in 2017, in order to focus on their other commitments including the LEAP program, which tests Visual FoxPro source code projects in Xbase++.

After hearing the news, we initially thought we would put the Xbase++ conference on hiatus for a single year as Alaska expects to have speakers available again in 2018. But after talking with others in the Xbase++ Community (including Alaska), we decided to try to run the conference without speakers from Alaska. We issued the Call for Speakers for both conferences. Unfortunately, we did not receive enough session proposals to put together an Xbase++ conference this year. We are naturally disappointed, but Alaska will continue to sponsor Southwest Fox and we are sure Southwest Fox will be a terrific conference on its own as it was for eight years before we incorporated the Xbase++ conference. In 2018, we hope to return to our usual dual conference format.

We look forward to announcing the session topics and speakers and to getting registration rolling for 2017 very soon. Thank you for your continued support of Southwest Fox.

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