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“Life is a highway; I wanna ride it all day long”, Rascal Flatts
“Of travel I've a'had my share, man; I've been everywhere”, Johnny Cash
Anaheim and looking forward …
Community announced a “Road to Inspire” contest. Post about your journey to Inspire and you could potentially win a ticket to the conference (along with some cool top 3 prizes). Armed with my iPhone and my Mac, I assembled multiple film style trailers to document my road to inspire. With my ALTERYX license plate in tow, I created a photo journal of my local and distant travels. I crisscrossed the US and journeyed to Europe and Asia carrying my love for Alteryx. I met so many wonderful community members along the way and encouraged them to join the contest. What I didn’t realize while I was doing this was that I encouraged others along the way while I was out having fun and sharing. Looking for Alteryx For Good opportunities, I found myself in India lending a hand to @ydmuley (Yug) and helping to launch their (very successful) AFG campaigns.
Coming to Anaheim, CA, I was armed with a box of poodle swag. Months prior to the conference, @chris_love and I proposed an ACE track session on Fuzzy Matching. As the conference approached I thought of creating a giveaway item for the session to encourage those in attendance to shift from audience attendees to engaged community members for the session. By encouraging their interaction and participation in the session, our hope was to deliver more relevant content to meet their expectations. It worked! We had a full-house and an encore session was added to the agenda on the closing day. Who knew that fuzzy match poodles would create such a stir? Maybe it was the session content, but the poodles did get equal attention to my hand-painted fuzzy match nail art.
That nail art was a last-minute thought. Passing by the salon in the Hilton, I stopped by and asked what I thought was a ridiculous question. “Could you draw Alteryx tools on my nails?” Yes! Within the hour I was donning some custom artwork. While my nails showed a love and appreciation for Alteryx, they didn’t show the passion and commitment of a tattoo. Don’t expect me to show you my Alteryx tattoo anytime soon. I’ve heard that they exist and would be happy to admire the artwork on someone else’s canvas.
Donning my community created sash, I proudly displayed my array of Inspire pins that I’ve been collecting since their origin. What started out as an embellishment to my conference badge had quickly outgrown my ability to wear on my lanyard. In Las Vegas, NV, I was presented with a “Girl Scout” inspired community sash. Beaming with pride, I put my heart on my sleeve and walked with the confidence knowing that I made real friends in the Community.
Before leaving Anaheim, Chris and I committed to presenting our Fuzzy Match session in London. Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention that the Alteryx Expert Certification exam was launched here and I ran out of time before completing the test. With a smile on my face, I congratulated @Claje (Jesse Clark) on being the first to pass the exam.
London Calling …
Having a session ready and “in the can”, what more preparation was needed for #AlteryxEU18? Lots! I found myself in London before the conference and created more “road to inspire” buzz with multiple trailers. Touring London at night, I crashed into the wall at Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station. My friends @AdamR and @jdunkerley79 met me for dinner and drinks, but politely (as the British do) stood aside whilst I displayed my shenanigans on London’s streets.
@MarqueeCrew had to bring nail art to London. But could I risk the nail art to chance again? No. I searched online to find a way to create custom nail art. As easy as a community post I had artwork ready in a matter of weeks delivered to my door. My plan was to get my nails painted and have the decals applied on my arrival in London. Did I mention leaving things to chance? No luck finding a shop to complete this task, so I took matters into my “own hands” and tried to apply the paint and decals. I have a new found respect for all of you who do this yourself. I spent hours getting the paint on and then applying the decals. Don’t rush the drying process. I can’t tell you how many expletives escaped me during this process. Late, I arrived for dinner to meetup with my traveling friends.
Could I wear my sash again to #AlteryxEU18? Surely, I could dress this up a little bit. I considered my options and re-purposed my #Inspire17 (Vegas) Icons of Analytics tuxedo jacket for the job. I embellished the jacket with black satin to bring a little class to my sash. While some expected the original sash from Las Vegas, the evolution was appreciated by many. Friends like @tessaenns and @Nezrin not only wore their nail art, but helped me to find others to share my newly minted swag.
Riding to the airport with @ScottT, he suggested that I create custom ACE business cards. Like the joker in Batman, I could give out my ACE card as an introduction. My suitcase was brimming with Alteryx swag from the conference and my mind was full from #AlteryxEU18 inspiration for the future.
Sydney. How Can I Pass This Opportunity Up? …
When I heard about the Inspire on Tour APAC 2019 conference, my initial thought was that this was going to be a conference that I would have to miss. But in London I met with the country manager, @JJP and we discussed my coming down to Australia. How could I disappoint? But before I flew to Australia I needed to preview the region. Just after Christmas, I boarded a flight to Tokyo and test drove the flight. There I met with the Deputy Country Manager, @mnamiki and we hit it off. I quickly returned to the states to be home in time for New Years yhoroughly jet-lagged and confused about day and night but I made my reservations for Sydney.
Wearing my Nashville inspired cowboy hat, I returned to Sydney and joined my friends in Australia. They introduced me to the #TimTamSlam and treated me like family. I was at the first US, UK and now APAC Inspire event. I’ll need to budget better for the future. While American Airlines is encouraging me to keep traveling, my better senses tell me that sometimes I just have to stay home and let others carry the torch.
Nashville and the CMAs …
I’m not @Hollingsworth. You won’t catch me singing karaoke or on center stage at the Grand Ole Opry. But I’ll be rocking in my attire. Even before London I started planning for Nashville. When I was in Denver, I stopped by the Stetson store and found myself a hat. What else could I need? @DeanS posted some shiny cuff-links. Had he started down a path to challenge me? I looked into my crystal ball and saw the future. I had one last item to design. "One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." Dean told me, “Your destiny lies with me, MarqueeCrew”. “@Ned knew this to be true”
@TuvyL is the real force behind the ACEs. When you see the ACE track at Inspire and can’t choose between our sessions, there’s Tuvy to thank for that. Before Christmas I was listening to the dogs (note: we have seven poodles) alerting me to the presence of an Amazon delivery coming to the door. Barking away in the kitchen, I heard them from downstairs. I came up to settle them and had the inspiration for a session, “How to make your workflow bark like seven vicious poodle guard dogs.” Tuvy helped me to choose a more appropriate title, “Enterprising your workflows” (yawn). I searched on Amazon and thought that I would find a barking noise maker. Mostly they sell devices to stop the dogs from barking. I may just have to improvise at Inspire. If you’ve ever wanted to take your workflows to the next level (and sleep at night), knowing that the workflows will maintain data integrity we’ve got you covered. Along with @SeanAdams and @patrick_mcauliffe we will share techniques and topics that should inspire you to automating your workflows. We are leaving plenty of time for Q & A. Be prepared to toss us your concerns and be part of the conversation.
@JoeM was my co-instructor for the CReW Macro training in Anaheim. Together, Joe and I hit this training out of the ballpark. @tessaenns is filling his shoes and will be assisting me in presenting the CReW training in Nashville. We sold out this session in Nashville, but fear not! Alteryx has added a second session of this training on Tuesday, June 11th, from 2:00 to 4:00. As I’m writing this blog, I’m currently sitting in the Admiral’s Club in Chicago returning from Minneapolis where we practiced our training session. We finished our practice by running through the training with Tessa’s internal user group meeting at Quest Diagnostics. There were plenty of aha moments including “Where did you say that you download these macros from?” This session has sold-out and I’m working to find a way to share more CReW macro training with my friends in #AlterNation. This just might be a reason for me to attend more Inspire events and to visit you at your local User Group meetings.
I’m counting down the days to #Alteryx19. I’ve got to warn you that you’ll need to be on your toes in my sessions. I’ve brought defensive tools to train you with. If you’re not paying attention, who knows what you might miss (or get hit with). The only not-so secret that you can count on is that I’ll have my license plate with me. I encourage you to stop by and say hi! As I’m writing this blog, I do wonder who’ll be reading it and whether it might resonate with anyone. Alteryx promises to recharge your batteries. Inspire delivers all of the energy that you could ask for. Whether you take training, are asserting yourself in certification or rising above the trees to see the forest of ways that your peers take advantage of the platform, you’ll know that you made the right decision to attend Inspire. As an #AlteryxAddict, I can’t say no. If your part of #Build2, I’ll be presenting you with a CReW challenge and helping to judge the winner. That’s about the only judgement that I have to offer. The rest of the conference I make myself available to learn, get inspired and to help others. Look for me at the Solution Center/Community Hub and let’s say Howdy (Cheers)!
P.S. Thanks to @Deanna and @ggruccio for hosting me at their AUG meetings this month. A special thank you to @DanM who joined me for some shenanigans in El Paso and a huge shout out to @TaraM for her creativity which inspired me to create my Alteryx ensemble.
2018 Alteryx Top Community Contributor | 2018 Alteryx For Good Champion | 2018 Alteryx ACE | MarqueeCrew delivers successful outcomes with Alteryx. As an advocate for Alteryx and with his service philosophy, Mark is an ACE among the community and eagerly shares his enthusiasm for Alteryx and his desire to enable others to solve their daily challenges. Follow him on Twitter @MarqueeCrew