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Is anyone else still recovering from the Meetup?  I don't know about the rest of you, but even though the Meetup was pretty much in my backyard in San Francisco, I feel like I've just gotten back from an overseas trip in an opposite time zone!  The culprit: too much fun at the Meetup :Wink:


As event planner @Natalie_B emailed to all attendees...




How awesome is that?!


Leading up to the Meetup...


The crew started setting up... While having a little fun, of course 🙂


Folks started rolling in...

The hotel that we stayed at, The Hyatt Regency right on the Embarcadero, was beautiful.


And we officially kicked off the event on Sunday evening with a beautiful reception!

We even made caricature masks for the occasion!  @John_MB,  @Brad_N, and I made 80+ of these at HP HQ in the days leading up to the Meetup.  They're pros at cutting out caricature faces now and probably have the calluses to prove it 😉




Worth it, because everyone seemed to love them!  Thanks for posting the idea in the Inner Circle, @old_geekster!  Recognize any folks here?

Then things really got started on Monday with our emcee and Director of Social Customer Care, Kriti Kapoor.


But first, let us take an "us-sie".  A collage from all the us-sies tweeted that morning:



Kriti even took photos of the crowd from the stage.

Our SVP, Richard Bailey, took to the stage to talk about where Social Customer Care at HP is headed, including after the separation.  Good stuff to come!


Our VP, John Moses, talked about the importance of Social Customer Care and its current trends.

And also took the time to call out some exceptional interactions in the HP Support Forums across all language communites.

Dr. Wu from Lithium joined us to talk about the importance of online reputation and broke it down to his "6 Factors of Online Influence".

To follow up on that, Kriti moderated a panel with all of us Community Managers of the HP Support Forum on how to apply online reputation to community.

Then long time Microsoft Principal Supportability Manager, Charles Erwin, gave a presentation and answered questions on all things Windows 10.

He was later joined by a group of highly technical HP subject matter experts for a panel to discuss HP and Windows 10, moderated by our very own @Bill_F, closing out Day 1 of the Meetup.


Day 2 of the Meetup started off with a surprise at everyone's seat in the main conference hall: HP hats in SF Giants colors for everyone!

To add to the excitement, Kriti was even joined onstage by her new "boyfriend", SF Giants catcher and first baseman, Buster Posey.

To further add to the excitement, @Teresa_H gave us a rundown on badging and gamification and announced that ALL Meetup attendees were getting a special Meetup badge.  Are you excited?!

Then we broke out into breakout sessions, including one on 3D printing.

Image diagnostic tool in computing.

And the chemistry of ink!

Our videographer and leading lady of vlog series HP How To For You, Stephanie Eilebrecht, spoke about how to produce your own videos at home.

She even had our photographer/part-time hand model, Tom Midak, come up on stage to demonstrate how hand gestures on camera have to be deliberate and exaggerated (I've always dreamed of being a hand model...).

Soon after, we broke off into groups by community for Community Day, where each community got together to give feedback, insight, and share ideas with each other and their Community Managers.  Everyone shared what they thought would help build a stronger community and what they would like to see in the community. It was very productive and insightful, so thank you!


The final day of the Meetup started off with an Unpanel, where attendees let us know what they wanted to hear about from our panel of technical subject matter experts.

So many great questions were asked!

Then it was time for... AWARDS.

And I'm including this next tweet because our awesome German and French Community Manager, Wendy Schippers, described my silhouette as "beautiful" and me as "very talented" and "extremely creative". Please, go on 😉 #tootingmyownhorn (Thank you, Wendy! :heart:)

But seriously... Are you ready for the recipients of the Excellence Award in the English Community?! Drum roll, please... @Bob_Headrick, @KNRK, and @old_geekster!

And for the Top Contributors award in the English Community, we have... @erico, @Dragon-Fur, @banhien, and @Huffer!  There in spirit were @Paul_Tikkanen and @DavidPK, who were not in attendance, but also received the Top Contributors award.  Congratulations to everyone!

Then to wrap everything up, group photo on the Embarcadero! But first, let Bill take a selfie.

But it wasn't all just panels, demos, and sharing great ideas.  When we weren't in the conference hall...


We took selfies, because thanks to our SVP, Richard, we were all now proud owners of selfie sticks (I got a hot pink one).

 We took some fantastic photos at our photo wall.

We went on "fun runs".

Though some may have had more fun than others.

We shared many a delicious meal together, including ones where we had great conversations about wine.

We took outings around town, like to the beautiful Ferry Building during one lunch break.

And the rooftop of Hotel Vitale, where some gorgeous views were taken in.

I still wasn't over the beautiful view the next day.

We also went to a Giants game at the AT&T Park, where many garlic fries were consumed.


What a week!


Thank you to everyone, both our community of Experts and the team for making the Meetup such a fun and successful event.  How amazing is it that we've all have descended upon San Francisco from all around the globe because we've all come to know each other in our digital community?  That's pretty cool, if you ask me :generic:  


It was even cooler to learn that it was many of our community members' first time in San Francisco, California, the West Coast, and even the States.  And of course, it was such a pleasure to meet everyone and to finally be able to put faces to all the wonderful folks who I've interacted with on the forum.


I can't think of a better way to sum up the Meetup than with this video that @ShlomiL shot of Bill getting jiggy with it. It was groovy times indeed.

If anyone has any questions or is interested in being a part of the HP Experts Program and this awesome community, please feel free to PM me here 🙂

† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation