Friday, 24 October 2008

New Zealand Box-biting Championships 2008

Our New Zealand Microsoft Dynamics NAV User Group had a fantastic two-day conference in Hanmer Springs this week.

Mason Robinson did a great job of organizing this event - which normally consists of a morning meeting with lunch, but this time comprised a coach journey to Waipara Springs Winery where we had a winery tour, tasting and lunch. We then journeyed on to Hanmer Springs where we checked in to our rooms and I gave a presentation on the upcoming Dynamics NAV 2009 release, focusing on the new RoleTailored client and the Web Service Enablement features.

The presentation was well received and I think a lot of the users are very interested in the new release. Rob from Fujitsu then did a demonstration of Demand Planner and Microsoft Forecaster and I finished the presentations with a short demonstration of the Reporting Services report viewer control in NAV 2009. The hard work sessions concluded with general discussions and information sharing from the many users that had attended this event and there was some very useful suggestions from many users and warnings about the differences in the NAV 5.0 Jobs module.

Our sessions finished and we had drinks, dinner and a quiz session in which our team came second (pah!) We finished the evening with a ridiculous box-biting competition that required us to pick up a cardboard box with our teeth without touching the floor with hands or knees. On each round the box was reduced in size until the final round had the last three contestants picking up a flat piece of cardboard from the floor with their teeth.

Here I am trying to pick up the box. This was as low as I could go and for some strange reason I thought that taking my shoes off would help me pick up the box by being lower to the ground.

After a few hours sleep we enjoyed a nice breakfast, a few recap sessions on NAV 2009 and a follow up on what we had learnt the day before and a demo from Sue from Microsoft which included the Edit in Excel feature. We had an hour or so in which we chatted and discussed issues on Reporting Services, NAV, etc. (and enjoyed a coffee next to the hot spas) followed by a coach journey back to Christchurch.

Thanks to everyone for such a fantastic time. I think we set the bar pretty high for this conference and I would be interested to know if anyone has managed to have a NAV user group meeting that tops this one.