London SWUG 2023: The Hangover Edition

London SWUG - Hangover Edition

It’s time again for a post-SWUG “Hangover Edition” wrap up – this time for SWUG London 2023. The etymology of the name comes from the way that many of us feel after a SWUG, especially if you attended the Social Networking Event the evening of the first day. We all had an absolute blast – both during and after sessions.

Event Recap

Although I didn’t get to partake in all the sessions myself, I was able to drop in on a few and the conversations were electrifying. This is why I choose to spend my time working with the THWACK community. IT pros helping IT pros is the type of camaraderie that makes my heart sing.

SWAG at London SWUG

I can’t thank everyone enough for sparing the time to attend the London SWUG 2023. For myself, it was a long-awaited reunion for friends who I rarely see in person. Over 50% were first time SWUG attendees and I was invigorated by their excitement and participation. We were all fast friends by the time the final curtain dropped – aligned in making sure we provide the best service we can to everyone who depends on us for our technical prowess.

Solarians helping SWUG Attendees

I was genuinely moved by the conversations we had and the handshakes we exchanged between sessions and during the social networking event. People frequently talk about “finding their tribe” and for me, that’s connecting with people who have passion overlaps. I had conversations about cars, motorcycling, television shows, video games, archery, table-top RPGs, and even a few about SolarWinds solutions. This plethora of conversations are equal parts awesome and inspiring.

IT Pros helping IT ProsBuilding Connections among THWACKsters

When the sun sets on the final SWUG day, everyone’s mind is buzzing with the knowledge download.  But the session content is just one part of that.  The best part of a SolarWinds User Group is fostering relationships among other IT pros and collaborating with others. Together we’ll continue to craft creative solutions and tackle technology problems in innovative ways.  All of this while having great conversations and enjoying spending time with people who get you.

Then the fatigue hits.  This is why these are Hangover editions.  In summary, we need a little time to recoup, regroup, and reflect.

Next Steps

If you were an attendee, I hope you’ve taken the time to complete the end of event survey. As I’ve stated many, many (some say too many) times, we use that information to improve and adapt the program. That feedback loop makes sure that your priorities continue to be our priorities.  SolarWinds User Groups are successful because we join forces.  SWUG is a natural offshoot of THWACK, and THWACK isn’t for SolarWinds, it’s for all of you – the THWACKsters.  I’m honored to be a part of your community.

If you met someone at SWUG and you want to connect, now’s an ideal time to send them a friendship request on THWACK. That way you can continue your conversations while improving the experiences of all IT pros.

Where to Next?

Here on the SolarWinds side, we’re gearing up for many events over remainder of 2023. Top of my mind are the two SolarWinds User Group events that’ll be taking place in North America. We’ll be going to two cities where the program hasn’t been previously. That’s reason for excitement, but (and I cannot stress this enough) it’s the THWACKsters who come out in force for the event that make them worthwhile.

If the past few years has taught us anything it’s that there is no replacement for in-person interactions. That’s what makes SWUG great.

Final Thanks

I’d like to thank all the SolarWinds staff who worked tirelessly to making this event one of the best in recent memory. This program wouldn’t be possible without the support of people from all parts of SolarWinds.

Some of the Solarians from London SWUG

It would be thoughtless if I didn’t give a particular thanks to our powerhouse events team. They were providing support, manning the check-in desk, offering directions, connecting people, and driving much of the machinery behind the scenes. They deserve round after round of applause.

Finally, thanks to everyone who attended and interacted. There were many new faces, there were some old friends, but everyone – and I mean everyone – is what makes this program and this community successful.

I hope you all felt the way I did about the SWUG, and I encourage to you comment with any experiences that’ll you take away from the SWUG. If you’ve got some pictures, you’d like to share, I’d love to see them.  On a personal front, it’ll take me a little time to recover from this particular “hangover,” but I’m anxious to read through everyone’s comments about the event.

Until next time, my friends!

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