OK, summed up in a lot of words - all worth recapping (with visual aids to make it fun).
The WFD2 event – which is the second of its kind and pulls together innovative IT product vendors and independent thought leaders in one room – kicked off with the Wi-Fi Mobility Symposium panel on Wednesday. After a brief introduction by Stephen Foskett, and moderators Marcus Burton and Andrew vonNagy, panelists, who represented key companies developing next-generation Wi-Fi products, gave their respective spiels.
Devin Akin presented for Aerohive, turning on the usual Devinator (southern) charm to help engage the audience into learning about controller-less Wi-Fi. Check out the video to see the southern charm thing in action (it works!). There was a lot of hugging that didn’t make the final cut for this video. Too bad because it added to the levity of the day. This guy has a solid fan base.
The Wednesday symposium was an interesting day and all, but let’s be real. The best part of the event was day #2 (Thursday) when the independent thought leaders – aka delegates – hopped a breakfast limo and came to Aerohive HQ for some special one-on-one time with our team – at 8am! It was breakfast-n-learn style.
These guys got up early. Next time we’ll stock the limo with more coffee, less bottled water.
Friends and colleagues, coming together for a day of Wi-Fi festivities.
The conference room, which came pre-loaded with snacks, branch routers and other offerings – awaits our delegates.
Group shot of the delegates. Seated at the rectangular-round table (in no particular order) are Marcus Burton (CWNP, @MarcusBurton), Sam Clements (SC-WiFi, @Samuel_Clements), Daniel Cybulskie (SimplyWiFi, @SimplyWifi), Jeremy Gaddis (Evil Routers, @JLGaddis), Rocky Gregory (Intensified, @BionicRocky), Tom Hollingsworth (The Networking Nerd, @NetworkingNerd), Jennifer Huber (Wireless CCIE, here I come! @JenniferLucille), Blake Krone (Digital Lifestyle, @BlakeKrone), Chris Lyttle (WiFi Kiwi’s Blog, @WiFiKiwi), Matthew Norwood (In Search of Tech, @MatthewNorwood), George Stefanick (Wireless LAN Professionals, @WirelesssGuru), Andrew vonNagy (Revolution Wi-Fi, @RevolutionWiFi)
The morning kicked off with a shot of Diet Peach Snapple. What?? You heard me: diet.peach.snapple.
This was a nod to the Devinator, whose love for this stuff has become legendary among those in the WFD circle. Diet Peach Snapple is a running joke from last year (because that is what Devin was drinking and he was all animated and on fire and started preaching). The idea was to give everyone #Devin energy.
Everyone took a shot and Devin said “let’s get this party started!”
Swag – coffee mug (much needed at this hour). Delegate Chris Lyttle seems happy with his new coffee drinking vessel.
Rocky Gregory feeling cheeky, and perhaps a bit territorial, about his new BR100 Branch Router.
Tom Hollingsworth’s reaction while opening his router box is closer to the look a kid gets on Christmas morning. Now, his gift was no Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle, but the BR100 is pretty special!
WiFiKiwi got a “WiFi Kiwi” (and changed his Twitter profile pic accordingly).
Of course, being a breakfast meeting and a coffee-drinking crowd, the chocolate covered espresso beans didn’t last a minute before they got opened. Beans-background: Tom Hollingsworth was the lucky winner of the bag-o-beans because he arrived feeling "less than optimal" after a fire-alarm-fun-filled-sleepless night so we wanted to make sure he was fully ready for us.
Then there was this treat. Know what it is?
OK, OK. All you Caddy Shack fans can just get your minds out of the gutter. It’s not a Baby Ruth candy bar. It’s chocolate covered bacon. Ever had some? I can’t say the flavors danced in my mouth, or that it’s to die for, or that I will ever eat it again, but it wasn’t terrible. Bacon and/or chocolate lovers (I am neither) would probably even say it was “delicious.”
Chocolate covered bacon contest - first we started off where we introduced the delegates to Aerohive's new Self-Registration Captive Web Portal, challenging the delegates to be the first person to obtain a unique Private PSK, login to the wireless network, and shout out a password they could find on a website we set up. The password was "chocolate covered bacon," of course.
We threw in a twist, using Aerohive's client classification rules to only allow iPhones or iPads to view the password from the test network, denying Windows machines, Macs, or WebOS tablets (say what???) from the promised land. Of course, the delegates threw us a curve of their own, showing we neglected to block the access to the password from other networks. We reward that kind of out-of-the-box thinking, so it was free chocolate covered bacon for all!
These guys are the greatest. Really good sports as they scavenged the place looking for their bacon.
Moderator Stephen Foskett (the organizer of this awesome event and responsible for many of the photos in this blog) (our own Amish Patel was responsible for the other half of the photos) found his bacon chocolate tucked neatly beneath his chair.
Remember how I said in the beginning of this post that food was part of this event? I wasn’t kidding. Read on …
#Brownies (say it out loud – "hashtag brownies" – and you will get the joke.)
With all the niceties (food) (and prezzies) out of the way, it was time to focus on what everyone came for (other than the food and prezzies) … the Wi-Fi component of WFD2.
After Devin’s introductions, Matthew Gast gave his presentation, walking everyone through his vision for Wi-Fi and the extinction of controllers And, of course you know Matthew was wearing his trademark sunglasses.
After Matthew came Aerohive founder and CTO, Changming Liu.
Finally, Abby Hassel Strong presented a timeline of Aerohive’s 2011 accomplishments.
The entire presentation can be viewed here.
Following this set of presos, Aerohive’s Paul Levasseur demonstrated Secure Guest Access, Branch on Demand, and “Value on Demand”, configuring the BR100 Branch Routers on the fly.
Ensuring all of these conversations were “heard” by folks not in attendance, Twitter was, in a word, on fire: in particular the two search terms, #Aerohive and #WFD2 were in heavy use. Hundreds of tweets, retweets and new (and existing) Twitter followers were glued to their Twitter apps, hanging on every Tweet and jumping in where they could.
With the tweets coming fast and furious, Jenni barely took a break from her laptop.
She wasn’t the only one … tweeting was the M.O. of the day.
We call this “Tweets on a big-screen TV”. In this photo we are using TwitterFall to watch the Tweets surround Wireless Field Day 2 as they rolled in. Pretty cool, eh?
Fun fact: During the event, there were approximately 2,275 tweets using the #WFD2 hashtag according to The Archivist website.
Then finally the #oprahmoment came at the end of the demos when we sent all of the delegates off with one last gift: an Aerohive backpack to put all of their goodies in (BR100, coffee mug, chocolate covered bacon).
Paul started shouting “You get a prize” and “You get a prize” like Oprah did on her show the time she gave out cars to everyone in her audience. Ok, we didn’t give away cars BUT these guys (and gal) seemed pretty excited to get some cool/newly released networking gear to go home with.
All in all it was another great showing for @Aerohive. There were great demos, great friendships rekindled and new ones made. Fun Fun Fun!
Until next time … see you around the Twittersphere